The 2020 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix that was scheduled to take place between June 5-7, 2020, has been indefinitely postponed, the organisers have announced. The Baku GP becomes the eighth race of the year to be either postponed or cancelled after Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that’s forced countries to close borders and impose travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. The next race scheduled after Azerbaijan is the Canadian GP on June 14 this year. A total of 12 races need to be completed for the championship to be validated.
Officials from the Baku City Circuit said, “The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with Formula 1 as well as the FIA and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic. This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.”
The rescheduling of the first seven races prompted the F1 management and the FIA to reschedule the summer break this year, and it was announced that period between July and August will be used to conduct races that were missed in the first half of the year. The 2020 F1 season was expected to start with the Azerbaijan GP but that does not seem to be the case anymore. The organisers further stated that the health of the Azerbaijani people, F1 fans, the teams and drivers.
The revised Formula 1 calendar will be shortened to 15-18 races this year
Formula 1 boss Chase Carey also issued a statement and said that F1 will be ready to race when the situation improves. He added that the revised calendar will be shortened to 15-18 races this year as opposed to 21 races. The season will extend beyond our the end date of November 27-29, 2020. The 2021 F1 technical regulations that were set to come into effect from next season has also been pushed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carey further said it’s not possible to set a new calendar as of now “due to the fluidity of the current situation but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month.”
The Canadian GP is scheduled after Azerbaijan on June 14, 2020
He further added, “Between Formula 1, the teams and the FIA, working with our key stakeholders, we are planning and fully committed to returning to the track at the earliest opportunity to commence the 2020 season. We will continue to take advice from health officials and experts, as our first priority continues to be the safety and health of our fans, the communities we visit and those within the Formula 1 family. We’re confident we’ll all get through this and see better days, ahead, and, when we do, we will ensure that everyone invested in this sport at every level feels rewarded.”
Apart from the races being cancelled, team factories have also been shut down indefinitely amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, the organisers will now focus on developing other content including Netflix’s Drive to Survive, the esports platform, and more.
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