Three more F1 events called off as COVID-19 chal­lenges con­tinue

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS -

LON­DON This year’s For­mula One Grand Prix races in Azer­bai­jan, Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan have been can­celled due to the COVID-19 pan­demic, or­ga­niz­ers said on Fri­day.

For­mula One had al­ready can­celled four other races, in­clud­ing the show­case Monaco Grand Prix in May, and pub­lished a re­vised and short­ened pro­vi­sional sched­ule due to start in Aus­tria on July 5.

“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,” For­mula One said in a state­ment.

The long lead times re­quired to con­struct the Sin­ga­pore and Azer­bai­jan street cir­cuits made host­ing those events im­pos­si­ble, it added.

Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix or­ga­niz­ers said “pro­hi­bi­tions im­posed on ac­cess and con­struc­tion of the event venue” had forced the can­cel­la­tion of the spec­tac­u­lar night race.

“Apart from the clo­sure of the event venue, other chal­lenges in­clude on­go­ing mass gather­ing and world­wide travel re­stric­tions,” they added. Sin­ga­pore has nearly 39,000 COVID-19 cases, one of the high­est tal­lies in Asia due to mass out­breaks in cramped mi­grant worker dor­mi­to­ries in the city-state.

“In Ja­pan, on­go­ing travel re­stric­tions also led to the de­ci­sion not to pro­ceed with the race,” said For­mula One

In its state­ment, F1 said: “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 One race dur­ing the 2020 season.”

A sec­ond race in Italy has been floated for Fer­rari-owned Mugello or Imola, once home of the San Marino Grand Prix, while Ger­many’s Hock­en­heim and Por­tu­gal’s Al­garve cir­cuit in Por­ti­mao are other possibilit­ies.

Sochi in Rus­sia could hold two races.

For­mula One said it was “con­fi­dent in our plans to have between 15-18 races by the time our season con­cludes in Abu Dhabi in mid-de­cem­ber.”

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