Chinese Grand Prix cancelled for fourth successive year due to Covid-19

Race in Shanghai was scheduled to take place in April as part of a record 24-round calendar

The F1 Chinese Grand Prix was last held in 2019. AFP
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Formula One's Chinese Grand Prix was cancelled for the fourth year in a row on Friday due to strict local measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The 2023 race in Shanghai was scheduled for April 16 as the fourth stop on a record 24-round calendar, but will not take place now.

The last time the race was staged in Shanghai was in 2019.

"Formula One 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 One said in a statement.

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

Anger over China's zero-Covid policy - which involves mass lockdowns, constant testing and quarantines even for people who are not infected - has sparked protests in major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The Covid-19 situation in China remains difficult even though Beijing is starting to allow some virus-infected people to isolate at home, starting with residents of the city’s most-populous district.

The sport is now facing a four-week hole in the 2023 calendar with the defunct round in China sandwiched by races in Melbourne on April 2 and Azerbaijan on April 30.

The Press Association reported that F1 bosses are in dialogue with a number of interested venues about filling the gap.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 11:55 AM