CHINA: Formula 1 management announced on Friday that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in the next season due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.
China’s COVID policy impacts Formula 1’s race schedule
Due to China’s zero-COVID policy, the country’s Formula One race scheduled for 16th April of next year has recently been the point of discussion.
As per sources, recent unrest events in China, including public protests against the Covid-19 restrictions put forth by the government, influenced the decision not to proceed with the race.
Due to the cancellation, the status of F1’s record-breaking 24-race season is uncertain. Formula 1 is in consulting multiple options about the practicality of filling the space. However, F1 management may leave it unfilled and drop to a 23-race calendar.
Formula 1 intends to decide in the coming weeks, with a final decision likely to be made in the new year. No timeline is yet established by F1; however, it can come up with a decision before Christmas.
China has not hosted a Formula 1 race since 2019. It was one of the major international sporting events to be cancelled in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zhou Guanyu became the first Chinese driver in Formula One this year, making his debut with the Alfa Romeo team. However, he won’t be able to race on his home track for at least another year.
Per the original Formula 1 calendar, the Chinese GP was the fourth event on the calendar for next year on April 14-16. The 2023 Chinese Grand Prix would have ended what would have been a four-year hiatus since Formula 1 last came to China.
Formula 1 has determined that the situation in China prevents it from proceeding with the race, despite ongoing dialogue in recent weeks to try to find a solution given the restrictions that are currently in place.
With China’s cancellation, there will now be a four-week gap between the race in Australia on 2nd April and the one in Azerbaijan on 30th April.