Formula One confirmed on Friday the Chinese Grand Prix will not return in 2023, extending the event’s hiatus from the series calendar to four years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following a discussion between all parties involved in the event organization, the series has decided to cancel the fourth round of a 24 record-breaking race calendar for the upcoming season due to the country’s strict Covid-19 restriction policies in place.
An official statement released by F1 on Friday asserts: “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.”
Adding: “Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.”
Last September, the World Motor Sport Council approved the Formula 1 calendar for the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship, which featured China as the fourth round, set to take place in Shanghai on April 16th.
Unfortunately, the local fans will have to wait until at least 2024 to welcome back the series.
The cancelation of the venue will also prevent the first Chinese driver in Formula One, Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN, Zhou Guanyu, from fulfilling the dream of contesting his home Grand Prix one more time.
The calendar also revealed Qatar is returning to hold a GP after a one-year absence. The night race comes back next season on a 10-year contract, celebrated on October 8th at the Lusail International Circuit.
Furthermore, the Las Vegas GP becomes the newest addition to the date, set to debut on November 18th. The Saturday night race in Las Vegas generated great excitement among fans worldwide following FIA’s confirmation in September, joining Miami and Austin.
The third race staged on U.S. soil is the penultimate round of the campaign, featuring an anti-clockwise design that spans 3.8 miles (6.12km) long, comprising 50 race laps.
Following the calendar announcement, Formula 1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali commented: “We are very pleased with the strong momentum Formula 1 continues to experience, and it is great news that we will be able to bring our passionate fans a mix of exciting new locations such as Las Vegas to the Championship with much-loved venues across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.”
FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, added: “The addition of new venues and the retention of traditional events underlines the FIA’s sound stewardship of the sport.
“I am delighted that we will be able to take Formula 1’s new era of exciting racing, created by the FIA’s 2022 Regulations, to a broader fan base in 2023.”
The upcoming season will set off in Sakhir on March 5th, celebrating the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Chinese GP was last held in 2019 at the Shanghai International Circuit, where Mercedes notched a 1-2 podium finish with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel completed the podium claiming the third place for Scuderia Ferrari.
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