F1 cancels Chinese GP due to COVID policies

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The Chinese Grand Prix will not take place in 2023 due to the country’s ongoing situation dealing with COVID-19, Formula One confirmed on Friday.

China’s F1 race, slated for April 16 next year, has been in doubt for some time due to the country’s zero-COVID policy, and sources have told ESPN recent events in the country, including public protests against the government, have accelerated the decision not to hold the race.

The cancellation leaves the status of F1’s record 24-race season in doubt. Sources have told ESPN the series is in talks with multiple venues about the viability of filling the vacant slot, but it could still leave it empty and drop to a 23-race schedule.

F1 hopes to make a decision on what to do in the next few weeks, with a final decision likely to come in the new year, although it could be before Christmas.

China has not hosted an F1 race since 2019 — it was one of the first international sporting events to be cancelled in 2020 in the weeks leading up to the pandemic.

This year Zhou Guanyu became F1’s first driver from China, debuting with the Alfa Romeo team, but he will have to wait at least another year for the chance for a race on home tarmac.

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