The Formula One grands prix in Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Covid-19 crisis threw the F1 calendar into chaos earlier this year, the Australian and Monaco Grands Prix were scrapped, and despite the best efforts of competition organisers, the races in Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan have now also fallen victim to the effects of the pandemic.
The Japanese Grand Prix, which was set to be held at Suzuka, cannot take place due to the country’s ban on the majority of international travellers. Meanwhile, the races in Singapore and Baku will not go ahead as their street circuits cannot be constructed while the crisis continues.
Competition organisers are still aiming for a championship consisting of between 15 and 18 races, with the season originally set to feature 22 events.
An F1 statement read: “We have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues.”
In any case, the F1 calendar is now greatly reduced and centred largely on European races. Eight races will be held in Europe between July and early September, with the season’s heavily delayed curtain-raiser coming in Austria on 5 July.
Back-to-back British Grands Prix will take place at Silverstone in August, and BBC Sport has reported that two races are likely to be held at Germany’s Hockenheim circuit later in September.
Italy’s Ferrari-owned Mugello track is a possible venue for another race, and competition organisers have not ruled out a Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal later in the year. Sochi could also host the Russian Grand Prix in thereafter.
Events in the United States, Mexico and Brazil are up in the air due to the severity of the coronavirus outbreaks in each of those countries. There is a ban on major events in Texas, where the US race is currently set to take place in October, though the state is slowly reopening.
The Brazilian Grand Prix seems unlikely to go ahead, with president Jair Bolsonaro having been heavily criticised for his handling of the pandemic, but the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could still take place.