Singapore, Azerbaijan and Japanese Grands Prix are cancelled for 2020 F1 season


Covid-19 construction delays and travel restrictions blamed for the cancellation of the 2020 Singapore, Azerbaijan and Japanese Grands Prix - but new venues could take their place says F1

2018 View over Singapore Marina Bay circuit

Time has run out to build the Marina Bay circuit, say organisers

Grand Prix Photo

Three more grands prix have been cancelled for 2020, meaning F1 will no longer visit Singapore, Azerbaijan or Japan this year.

Covid-19 restrictions have delayed the lengthy construction process for the two street circuits, forcing their cancellation, while travel restrictions are blamed for removing Suzuka from the 2020 calendar.

However, Formula 1 suggested that the series will visit new venues this year to plug the gap from the missing races.

Singapore organisers said that restrictions on mass gatherings and limited access to the Marina Bay Area meant that construction of the street circuit has not yet started. It is now too late to complete the work in time for the September race.

Uncertainty over future Covid-19 measures have been particularly problematic for street circuits, which require lengthy build-up periods. The Monaco Grand Prix was cancelled in March and the first Vietnamese Grand Prix is looking unlikely.

The Dutch and French Grands Prix were also cancelled earlier this year, and further races are expected to drop off the schedule.

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At the moment F1 has only confirmed an eight-race calendar in Europe, with double-header races in Austria and Britain. A 15-18 race season is planned, however, with an extended schedule likely to be published within weeks.

“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,” said Formula 1’s promoters in a statement.

Mugello and Imola have been mooted as stand-in venues for Formula 1 this year, and the series is expected to confirm races at existing venues, including Russia, Mexico and the Middle East shortly.

In a statement, Singapore’s race promoter said that it was now planning for the return of the race in 2021. “Apart from the closure of the event venue, other challenges include ongoing mass gathering and worldwide travel restrictions,” said Singapore GP Pte Ltd.

“With these limitations, which continue to remain in place, building and construction work of the circuit, which normally commences in May, have not been able to commence. We are therefore unable to complete the race circuit infrastructure in time for the race to take place.”

A statement from Formula 1 added: “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. 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.”

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