Brown: The rest of the 2021 F1 calendar is a bit of a game of chess
Formula 1 should emerge from the August break with a clearer schedule for the rest of the season, but there are still many possible scenarios due to COVID-19 and changing circumstances, claims McLaren racing boss Zak Brown.
The sport has planned a championship-record 23 races in 2021, with 12 still to come in the second half of this year, starting with the weekend at Spa-Franochamps at the end of this month.
Brown told Reuters: “I think once we get out of the summer break, Stefano[Domenicali)willknowwhathandhasbeendistributedinsomeofthoseremainingterritoriesandtheschedulewillbebackinplace[Domenicali)sauraquellemainilaétédistribuédanscertainsdecesterritoiresrestantsetlecalendrierseramisenplace”[Domenicali)willknowwhathandhe’sbeendealtinsomeoftheseremainingterritoriesandtheschedulewillgointoplace”
Uncertainty remains over the Japanese Grand Prix scheduled for October 10, which, if canceled, could also affect a race in Turkey on October 3.
Turkey is on the British Red List, which means returning travelers must spend 10 days in hotel quarantine. By switching to Japan, which is on the orange list, this requirement would be avoided.
Mexico and Brazil, which will host races in October and November, are also on Britain’s red list. Seven of the 10 Formula 1 teams are based in England.
Brown said there was talk of having two races in Austin, Texas, but the situation was also fluid: “I hear that, but I also hear a lot of different schedule scenarios. I think the reality is that probably no one knows for sure.
“I think it’s a bit of a chess game of what happens in this market and it goes redlisted, or what have you, and there’s a domino effect. I have heard a variety of scenarios.
Brown hoped the success of the Tokyo Olympics, which ended on Sunday and featured more than 50,000 people operating in a tightly controlled bubble, would boost Formula One racing at Suzuka.
“From what I can tell, there was no drama after the Olympics, so I feel like that would boost confidence,” Brown explained.
“I think they said it would probably be a behind closed doors event and I think Formula 1 has shown that we as an industry are very good at traveling in and out of country safely.
“I’m confident that we as Formula 1 can deliver a safe event. What you don’t know is the state of play in the country itself,” added the McLaren boss. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)