F1 has announced that there would not be any race to replace the Chinese Grand Prix in the 2023 season.
The Chinese GP was one of the 24 races meant to hold in 2023 but had to be cancelled due to COVID concerns towards the end of last year. It was thought that F1 would look for another race to occupy the vacuum created by the Chinese GP cancellation, but that would not be happening again.
Not only would the F1 not be fixing a replacement race, but they also rejected a request from the organisers of the Chinese GP to add the race back to the calendar. In a statement on Tuesday, F1 said, “Formula 1 can confirm the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged.” Even with the exclusion of one race, 23 races in a year is still a record for F1.
The Chinese GP was last held in 2019 and has not been featured on the calendar since then. While there have been various reasons why the race has not been held since 2019, the reason this time around is due to the uproar generated by China’s zero-Covid policies. There have been protests already in the country, and it was out of concern for the safety of their members that F1 had to cancel the race.
Part of the reasons why F1 did not bother to move with a replacement was due to logistics issues. The race before the Chinese GP is the Australian GP, and it would be easy for teams to make the move if they had enough time to prepare. Adding a new race to the mix now might make things a bit complicated, seeing that we are just weeks to the start of the season, with pre-season testing set to start on February 23.
This is the fourth year in a row without the Chinese GP, and it is quite interesting to think of when next we will get to experience the race again.
The 2023 F1 season starts in Bahrain on ₦-5 March.