The situation related to the Coronavirus evolves day by day: from the very beginning the organizers of the calendar of Formula 1 they knew they had to draw up more plans to deal with any eventuality. Plans that are especially useful now that the Circus is preparing to greet Europe (remain Spa, Zandvoort, Monza, Sochi and Istanbul, in that order) to land in Asia and America.
As long as Formula 1 remains in the Old Continent, there should be no problems: fortunately, vaccination plans in Europe allow for the organization of a sporting event in safe conditions. This is especially true for Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, which have more than half of the population vaccinated with two doses. Russia and Turkey, on the other hand, are proceeding more slowly: respectively 18.4% and 33.9% of the population completed the vaccination cycle. After Turkey, in theory, there would be the Japan: even in the land of the Rising Sun, however, vaccines are proceeding slowly and – if the Olympic Games could not be postponed a second time – organizing a Grand Prix facing a new peak of cases can be counterproductive.
After the Russia-Turkey-Japan triptych, Formula 1 will have a week off in which the teams are likely to return to Great Britain. And here is the crux of the problem: how it notes Auto Motor und Sport, the British government has not blacklisted Japan (those returning from these countries must comply with ten days of quarantine), so returning from the Asian state would not be a problem. It would be to return to the Turkey, inserted – she yes – in the black list of Great Britain (yesterday 22 thousand new cases of Coronavirus out of 85 million inhabitants). If Suzuka skips, therefore, the teams that will return to Great Britain (Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, Alpine, Aston Martin, Williams and Haas) should respect the quarantine until 13 October. And at that point organizing any race for October 17th would become an almost impossible mission. Therefore, replacing Suzuka will be very difficult if the infections in Turkey continue to grow, if the country remains on the black list of London and if a ‘buffer’ solution is not found in Asia. Stefano Domenicali is working with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to study one possible exemption from quarantine: the president of Formula 1 has made a personal commitment to maintain the 23 races.