The 2021 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the second successive year, race organizers said on Wednesday.
The cancellation of the race, scheduled for the weekend of October 8-10 at the Suzuka circuit, follows the abandonment of Singapore’s October 1-3 night race.
“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,” Formula One said in a statement.
“Formula One is now working on the details of the revised calendar and will announce the final details in the coming weeks.”
Japan recently hosted the Olympic Games in Tokyo without the presence of spectators, while the Paralympic competitions, scheduled from August 24 to September 5, will also be held without fans in attendance.
Japan on Tuesday extended its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions and announced new measures covering seven more prefectures to counter a spike in COVID-19 infections that is threatening the medical system.
The current state of emergency, the fourth of the pandemic so far, was due to expire on Aug. 31 but will now last until September 12. Tokyo announced 4,377 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after a record 5,773 on Friday.
“The Delta variant raging across the world is causing unprecedented cases in our country,” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said. “Serious cases are increasing rapidly and severely burdening the medical system, particularly in the capital region.”
The emergency will now cover nearly 60% of Japan’s population with the prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka included. Less strict “quasi-emergency” measures will be applied to a further 10 prefectures.