F1 cancels Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan GPs due to COVID-19

The Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Formula 1 races have all officially been cancelled as the 2020 calendar continues to shrink in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis

F1 cancels Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan GPs due to COVID-19

Teams have been aware for some time that these races were not going to happen, with the street event nature of the first two creating huge logistical issues and requiring the organisers to commit to a long lead time to prepare their venues.

Azerbaijan was postponed from its original June date some weeks ago, and it had tentatively been scheduled for Singapore's 20 September date before government restrictions forced its cancellation.

The prospects for the Suzuka race became clear after the same promoter recently cancelled the MotoGP event at sister track Motegi, which was due to be held a week after the F1 race in October.

An F1 statement read: "We are confident in our plans to have between 15-18 races by the time our season concludes in Abu Dhabi in mid- December and expect to publish the finalised calendar before we start our season in Austria.

"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.

"At the same time 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.

"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 cancellations open up a big gap in the schedule between Italy on 6 September and the USA, which is scheduled for 25 October but thought unlikely to happen.

The only race still officially listed for that six-weekend spread is Russia on 27 September.

F1 is still working to confirm other events for that period, with China the main flyaway option and Canada an outside bet, along with additional European races.

As a street race, Vietnam faces similar issues to Azerbaijan and Singapore.

The country is still under restrictions and the promoter is understood not to be keen to run the first event without a full crowd, and there are also concerns about potentially having two races within six months, with the 2021 event set for April.

The Singapore organisers cited restrictions on the construction work required to build up the circuit as the main reason for the cancellation.

"The last few months have been extremely challenging on all fronts," said Singapore GP deputy chairman Colin Syn.

"And we have now made this difficult decision which F1 and our stakeholders accept we have had to take.

"Ultimately, the health and safety of our contractors and their workers, spectators, F1 crew, staff and volunteer marshals is our number one priority, and we thank everyone for their patience and unwavering support thus far."

Ticketholders will get an automatic refund or can ask to transfer to the 2021 event.

shares
comments
Two-time F1 starter and 1981 Trans-Am champion Eppie Wietzes dies
Previous article

Two-time F1 starter and 1981 Trans-Am champion Eppie Wietzes dies

Next article

Williams F1 restructure shouldn't be seen as "anything other than positive"

Williams F1 restructure shouldn't be seen as "anything other than positive"
Load comments
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021