Formula 1 should be prepared not to replace next year’s cancelled Chinese Grand Prix if it does not find a suitable replacement event, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believesShanghai International Circuit will not go ahead.
The cancellation of China’s race, which was originally scheduled to take place on April 16th, leaves a four-week gap between the third and fourth rounds of the championship in Australia and Azerbaijan. Brown believes it should only be filled “if we can get filled with the right race.”
“We shouldn’t just fill it for the sake of filling it,” the McLaren boss told Sky.
F1 last raced in China in 2019. The event has been cancelled for four consecutive seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which the country’s rulers continue to manage using strict city-wide lockdowns affecting millions of people.
“It’s a shame we’re not going back to China,” said Brown. “I think it’s an important market. Hopefully they’ll get all their Covid-related stuff sorted out, because I understand that’s the problem, and go back there in ’24.”
Various candidates have been mooted as potential replacements for the race. During the pandemic-affected years of 2020 and 2021, F1 pressed several alternative venues into service including the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal and Istanbul Park in Turkey. France’s Paul Ricard circuit, which was dropped from the calendar at the end of last year, could also be an option.
The loss of China’s race reduces the number of grands prix on the 2023 calendar to 23, which remains a record for the most ever held in a season.
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