The Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix in 2023 “will be cancelled”


The long-awaited return of Formula 1 motor racing to China next year is likely to be canceled due to the country’s ongoing Covid policies, the BBC has reported.

The report said Formula 1 had decided to cancel the race scheduled for April due to rules which would require staff to undergo strict quarantines if they contracted Covid while visiting the country. The rules currently require anyone with the disease to spend five days in an isolation center, followed by three days of home isolation.

The BBC said F1 declined to comment on the matter and the race has yet to be officially called off, but the decision was “inevitable”.

F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali previously said the planned race was “not certain” to take place.

China last hosted a Grand Prix in 2019. The Shanghai race was included in a tentative schedule for 2023 released in September. The organizers of the Shanghai race in November last year extended their hosting contract with F1 until 2025. Shanghai first hosted a Grand Prix in 2004.

The BBC has reported that F1 is looking to fill the void left by the Shanghai race by bringing forward the next Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan, by a week.

The cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix would be another, if not unexpected, blow to the sports industry’s hopes of reopening China after the pandemic. Only a handful of international sporting events have taken place in the country since the start of the pandemic, including the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and several world table tennis events.

A cancellation would be particularly disappointing at present, as China’s first full-time Formula 1 driver, Zhou Guanyu, is currently competing in the series and has yet to race in his home country.

Additional reporting by Kevin McCullagh

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