F1 facing four-week gap with no replacement for Chinese GP

Formula One will have a four-week hole in this season’s calendar after it was confirmed the Chinese Grand Prix would not be replaced.

The race in Shanghai, which had been due to take place on 16 April, was cancelled last month because of coronavirus restrictions in the country. Despite Chinese officials subsequently moving away from their zero-Covid policy, the round could not be salvaged, marking the fourth season it has been scrubbed from the schedule.

F1 executives assessed a number of options to fill the vacant slot, with Portimao in the Algarve understood to be the main contender. But they decided against the logistical difficulty of diverting to Portugal after the third race of the season in Melbourne, Australia, on 2 April, and then on to Azerbaijan.

It is believed F1 explored the opportunity of bringing the race in Baku forward by a week, but it was confirmed on Tuesday that the fixture on 30 April will not be moved.

The season begins in Bahrain on 5 March, and concludes in Abu Dhabi on 26 November and features a record 23 rounds, one more than last year.

The grid’s 10 teams will unveil their new machines next month and the sole pre-season test will take place over three days in Bahrain, starting on 23 February.


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