Formula 1 has confirmed that the 2020 Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix races have been cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this month the opening eight races of a revised calendar for the 2020 season were announced. The season was to begin with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in the first weekend of July.
But Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan events have been dropped from the calendar. “As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season,” a statement from Formula 1 on Friday read.
“These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries. In Singapore and Azerbaijan the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race.”
Even as the races are being cancelled, F1 was upbeat about the progress to start the season. “We have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a Formula 1 race during the 2020 season,” the statement added.
“We appreciate this is still a time of uncertainty and complexity around the world and will continue to ensure we proceed with the 2020 season in a cautious and flexible way. We have detailed and robust safety plans in place to ensure we begin our season in the safest possible way.”
The cancellation will mean that Singapore will not be hosting the Asia’s only night race for the first time in 12 years.
Ticket sales for the Japan’s race on October 11 were suspended way back in April, while Azerbaijan event was originally slated for June 7.