The Chinese Grand Prix is off for the fourth year in a row
The Chinese Grand Prix has been removed from the Formula 1 calendar for the fourth year in succession amid the country’s strict measures to inhibit the spread of Covid-19.
The race, which was scheduled for April 16 next year, won’t take place, Formula 1 said in a statement “due to ongoing difficulties presented by the Covid-19 situation.“
The fourth cancellation in a row comes even after F1 chiefs signed a new deal to extend the Chinese Grand Prix until 2025 just last year, and comes amid protests taking place in the country due to what some see as overly-strict Covid-19 guidelines imposed by the country’s ruling government.
“Formula 1 can confirm, following dialogue with the promoter and relevant authorities, that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the Covid-19 situation,” they said in a statement.
“Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.”
The race’s cancelation means that there will be a four-week window without a Grand Prix in April, with the Melbourne Grand Prix scheduled for April 2 and the next being the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on April 30.
However, it has been reported that Formula 1 is to hold talks with various other potential race hosts with a view to filling the gap in the schedule.
It is thought that Portugal’s Portimao circuit is among the candidates to take the place of the Chinese Grand Prix. The track was used as a replacement race in both 2020 and 2021 for others which were cancelled due to Covid-19.
The last time the race took place was in the 2019 season which, on that occasion, was won by Lewis Hamilton.
The race’s axing will no doubt come as a blow to China’s first-ever F1 driver, Guanyu Zhou, who has not yet taken part in his home Grand Prix.
The 2023 Formula 1 season begins in Bahrain on March 5 and will conclude several months later in Abu Dhabi on November 26.