Formula 1 announced on Friday that the Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in 2023 due to “ongoing difficulties related to the COVID-19 situation” in the country. The cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix means the race will not take place for the fourth year in a row.
The status of the Chinese Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place on April 16 at the Shanghai International Circuit, has reportedly been in doubt for some time due to the host country’s ongoing “COVID Zero” lockdown policy. Politics sparked civil unrest and protests against the government to the point that the country’s ruling Communist Party and President Xi Jinping began to change their rhetoric on COVID.
According to ESPN’s Nate Saunders, recent events and protests in China hastened F1’s decision not to host the Chinese Grand Prix. While the series is in talks to fill the vacant spot left on the 24-race schedule, there is a possibility that the spot left by the Chinese Grand Prix could be left empty, cutting the 2023 season down to 23 races.
The Chinese Grand Prix has not been held since 2019, as it was one of the first major sporting events to be canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 and has not been part of the F1 schedule since. The Grand Prix has been held 16 times since 2004, with Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and others among the winners.