Chinese F1 Grand Prix cancelled for the fourth year in a row due to 'Covid difficulties'

2 December 2022, 14:58 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 16:46

FI cancels the Chinese Grand Prix for fourth year running
F1 cancels the Chinese Grand Prix for fourth year running. Picture: Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

Formula One bosses have cancelled the Chinese Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row due to "Covid difficulties".

The race has not gone ahead since 2019 due to lockdown laws in China but it was scheduled to return to the Shanghai International Circuit in April next year.

But with strict coronavirus restrictions still in place in China, F1 confirmed the Grand Prix will not go ahead as planned.

China's covid policies mean that all F1 staff and drivers would be required to quarantine.

There is the added risk that if team members tested positive for Covid they would be detained while they recover.

China has faced criticism from the rest of the world over its 'draconian' measures since the pandemic, and widespread protests have been staged across the country in recent months for greater freedom.

An F1 statement said: "Formula 1 can confirm, following dialogue with the promoter and relevant authorities, that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation.

"Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course."

Lewis Hamilton winning the Chinese Grand Prix in 2019
Lewis Hamilton winning the Chinese Grand Prix in 2019. Picture: Alamy

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The Chinese Grand Prix was due to be the fourth race of a record 24 for the 2023 season, and had been scheduled for April 16. It is unclear if the calendar will revert back to 23 races.

China hosted the first race at its Shanghai International Circuit in 2004.

It was last won by former world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has the best record in the raceThe 2023 season is set to start in Bahrain on March 5. and will definitely have one new location, with Las Vegas added to the schedule.