Formula 1’s races in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have all been canceled due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 announced Friday, June 12.
Continued concerns with COVID-19 was the listed reasoning for canceling the events.
“As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season,” F1 said in a company statement. “These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries. In Singapore and Azerbaijan, the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible, and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race.
“At the same time, we have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a Formula 1 race during the 2020 season.
“We appreciate this is still a time of uncertainty and complexity around the world and will continue to ensure we proceed with the 2020 season in a cautious and flexible way. We have detailed and robust safety plans in place to ensure we begin our season in the safest possible way.”
F1’s motorsports chief Ross Brawn discussed how the second half of the season is coming together while fighting the pandemic and keeping everyone involved as safe as possible.
“Things are moving fast, but we still have time,” he said. “We have lots of different options and we’re very confident we’re going to have a great second half of the season.
“There is a contingency to have an extended European season with another one or two races if needed. I think Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be the backstop of the season from what we can see at the moment. That gives us 10. We’ll find at least five or six good races in the middle.”
The season is set to begin July 5 in Austria.