Three more Formula 1 races get canceled amid COVID-19 pandemic
Three Formula 1 2020 races - Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan - have been canceled from the schedule owing to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, F1 remain confident of finalizing a schedule of between 15 and 18 races for this year. There is interest from new venues which are not on the original calendar. Here are further details on the same.
A statement from F1 released on Friday said: "As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season." "These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries."
An initial eight-race calendar in Europe has already been announced. F1 is expecting to publish a new full schedule next month. "We have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a Formula 1 race during the 2020 season," the statement added.
"These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries. In Singapore and Azerbaijan the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race," the statement read.
On Thursday F1 chief Ross Brawn explained that the plan for the second half of the season is coming together. "Things are moving fast, but we still have time," he said. "We have lots of different options and we're very confident we're going to have a great second half of the season."
The 2020 F1 season would begin across three consecutive weekends - two in Austria on July 5 and 12 and a third in Hungary. Meanwhile, there will then be a two-week break before two consecutive races in Britain and events in Spain, Belgium and Italy. All F1 races will be run behind closed doors with participants following guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
July 3-5 - Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring) July 10-12 - Steiermark Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring) July 17-19 - Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring) July 31-August 2- British Grand Prix (Silverstone) August (7-9) - 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone) August (14-16) - Spanish Grand Prix August (28-30) - Belgian Grand Prix September (4-6) - Italian Grand Prix