Formula 1 just canceled the Japanese Grand Prix. Here’s what that means. - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Formula 1 just canceled the Japanese Grand Prix. Here’s what that means.

What will F1, Hamilton, and Verstappen do without the classic Suzuka Circuit?

LISTEN 03:15

The Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on what the race series decides to do, it could change the tide of the war raging between Max Verstappen piloting the Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.

The Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This announcement came from Formula 1 on the morning of August 18, 2021.

In a statement, Formula 1 said, "Following ongoing discussions with the promoter and authorities in Japan the decision has been taken by the Japanese government to cancel the race this season due to ongoing complexities of the pandemic in the country."


It is not the first time this has happened to the Japanese Grand Prix, which got canceled for the same reason in the 2020 season.

It’s not even the first time it has happened this season.

  • The Singapore Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place October 1st-3rd, was also canceled due to the pandemic. However, the Turkish Grand Prix then filled in the gap.
  • Suzuka was supposed to host the race on October 10, 2021, following practice and qualifying, which would have been October 8th and 9th.
  • The Japanese Grand Prix sat between the Turkish Grand Prix, which is set to take place October 1st-3rd, and the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 22nd-24th.

No Japan - Anybody wants another round of Turkey?

Formula 1 has not yet announced whether the schedule will remain the same minus Suzuka, or if it will be replaced, or something else entirely. Perhaps they will do Turkey two weeks in a row.

The sport is currently taking a couple of weeks off for summer break, with the next race weekend being the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

All eyes this season have been on the battle between Lewis Hamilton with his Mercedes and Max Verstappen piloting the Red Bull.

Who could take advantage of the F1 cancellation?

If hypothetically, they decide to do Turkey two weeks in a row, that could benefit Verstappen.

Turkey is a rather technical circuit (one corner has four apexes for christ’s sake), something the Red Bull would be better suited to with its lackluster Honda engine but stellar aerodynamics and chassis.

Or Mercedes could capitalize on the few high-speed corners and straights and blow right past the Dutchman.

Another possibility is Formula 1 does not replace Japan with anything, meaning all the teams would have an extra week to prepare for Circuit of The Americas.

Can RedBull make this a win-scenario?

Red Bull would appreciate this as it is later in the season where every point matters that much more. Not to mention the last time Red Bull won at Circuit of The Americas was in 2013, before the current turbo-hybrid era.

With Red Bull being the underdogs and Mercedes being the established F1 powerhouse, the loss of the Japanese Grand Prix in this season could make Verstappen the new king of F1.

Or Hamilton could win the championship for the fifth time in a row.


Josh Conturo
Hello, I am the new intern here at TopSpeed! I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and am a senior at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. I got into cars as a kid playing video games like Need for Speed: Underground and going to car shows with my grandfather. Once I got to college I realized I love writing and decided to combine that with my love of cars and began writing for the school newspaper. fast froward a couple years and here we are!  Read full bio
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