2023 Chinese Grand Prix Cancelled

Chinese Grand Prix

Formula 1 has confirmed the cancellation of the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix. The Shanghai race has been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions in China.

Formula 1 will not race in China in 2023 due to ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions. 2023 is the fourth consecutive season in which the Chinese Grand Prix has been cancelled. The event was scheduled to take place on April 14-16. F1 last raced at Shanghai International Circuit in 2019, when the venue hosted the 1,000th World Championship event.

The cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix leaves a four week gap in the schedule between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30. In a brief statement, Formula 1 said it was looking for “alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course”.

Why is the Chinese Grand Prix cancelled?

News of the cancellation of the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix comes as no surprise. The Chinese government has imposed strict restrictions throughout the coronavirus pandemic, making international travel to and from the country difficult. The controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy has sparked protests in the country in recent weeks.

Under the latest rules imposed in China, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus must spend five days at an isolation centre. Those working in Formula 1 would not be given an exemption from these rules.

The cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix means that Formula 1’s first Chinese driver, Zhou Guanyu, will not race at home once again in his sophomore season.

What will replace the Chinese Grand Prix?

In November, the BBC reported that Formula 1 was not looking to replace the slot left vacant on the 2023 calendar by the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix. Instead, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was keen to move the Azerbaijan Grand Prix forward by one week to bridge the gap between the third and fourth races of the year.

Moving the Azerbaijan race forward by one week would make logistical sense, as teams currently face a tough double header of race weekends in Baku and Miami. It is understood that organisers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix were resistant to change the date of their race.

Instead, Formula 1 says it is pursuing “alternative options” for the vacant slot. Though potential replacement venues have not been announced, it is believed that Portimão is in the running to return to the schedule.

Algarve International Circuit previously hosted the Portuguese Grand Prix in both 2020 and 2021, with both races being won by Lewis Hamilton. However, the circuit is already scheduled to host the 6 Hours of Portimão – the second round of the 2023 World Endurance Championship – on the same weekend that the potential Formula 1 race would take place.

The 2023 Formula 1 calendar is now down to 23 races – which is still a record for the most races held in a single season. News is expected on a replacement round for the Chinese Grand Prix in the new year.

Would you like to see the Portuguese Grand Prix return to the calendar? Leave a comment below!

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