Formula 1 confirms 2023 Chinese GP cancelled
By Mat Coch
Friday 2nd December, 2022 - 10:00pm
Formula 1 has confirmed the 2023 Chinese GP has been cancelled. It marks the fourth successive year the event will not form part of the calendar.
The sport’s commercial rights holder issued a brief statement announcing the change.
“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,” it stated.
“Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.”
Doubts have surrounded the event for some time as Chinese authorities persist with a zero-tolerance stance on coronavirus.
That has met with a backlash from the Chinese population leading authorities to initiate an ’emergency response’ level of censorship in an effort to stamp out the protests.
Next year’s Chinese Grand Prix was set to be Round 4 of the campaign on April 14-16, two weeks after the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park.
Australia and China were paired to mitigate the cost and effort involved in logistics and travel for teams and associated personnel.
There is no official word on whether the event will be replaced, though speculation has linked a return to Portimao in Portugal as a possibility.
Another option that is understood to have been floated was to not replace the event and instead move from Melbourne to Azerbaijan, which would move forward a week.
Shanghai International Circuit last hosted Formula 1 in 2019 in what was the sport’s 1000th world championship event.
The 2020 Chinese GP was postponed before the season got going as the coronavirus pandemic began to spread before being formally cancelled later in the year.
It has been absent ever since despite an appetite from the sport and local organisers to see it return.
Guanyu Zhou this year became China’s first F1 driver when he joined Alfa Romeo Sauber alongside Valtteri Bottas.