Formula 1 has confirmed it will not replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix this year, meaning there will be 23 races this season instead of the planned 24.
F1 has canceled this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place on April 16 last December, due to “continuous difficulties due to the Covid-19 situation”. Since the decision, China has relaxed its zero-COVID policy, but the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases means there is still uncertainty about future restrictions.
F1 was unwilling to return to China, where the race was last held in 2019, if there were doubts that the team and organizational staff would be able to easily travel and work within the country. Sportzshala sources also cited political unrest late last year as the reason for the accelerated decision to cancel the race.
Key dates for the 2023 F1 season
At the time of the cancellation, F1 said it was in talks with a number of possible replacements, including Portugal’s Portimão circuit, but would not make a deal just for 24 races.
In a brief statement on Tuesday, F1 confirmed that the Chinese Grand Prix would not be replaced and that all other dates on the calendar would remain the same.
Formula 1 can confirm that the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. “All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged.”
The absence of the Chinese Grand Prix results in an unusual four-week gap between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30.
The calendar then enters a busy phase with five races in six weeks, including back-to-back races in Azerbaijan and Miami, and a triple race in Italy, Monaco and Spain.