The Monaco GP has been cancelled while the Dutch and Spanish races have been postponed as F1 continues to push its season start back amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest announcement means the 2020 campaign’s first seven scheduled races have all either been cancelled or postponed.
F1 says it will start the season “as soon it’s safe to do so after May”.
The Dutch GP, due to make its F1 return this season after 35 years off the calendar, was set for May 3, before the Spanish GP on May 10 and the prestigious Monaco GP on May 24.
While the first two races have only been postponed, Monaco race organisers confirmed “with great sadness” that they wouldn’t be able to find another date in the year for F1’s showpiece event.
“Under no circumstances will it be possible to organise [this] event later this year,” read a statement from the Automobile Club De Monaco Board of Directors as they announced the cancellation.
F1 are hopeful of fitting the Zandvoort and Barcelona races – as well as the other postponed Grands Prix in Bahrain, Vietnam and China – back onto the calendar once the season begins, with August a potential opportunity after the summer shutdown period was moved forward.
The first scheduled race on the 2020 calendar is now the Azerbaijan GP on June 7, before the Canadian GP the following week.
The European season is then due to start with races in France, Austria, Silverstone and Budapest.
F1’s statement in full (before Monaco was cancelled)
“In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA and the three promoters it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Gran Premio De España 2020 and Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2020 will be postponed.
“Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.
“Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it’s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.”
F1’s big rule changes for the 2021 season will be delayed until 2022 in the latest measure introduced in wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Teams will also continue to use their 2020 cars next year.
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