F1 to officially cancel Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese grands prix
Formula 1 is set to officially cancel the Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix, albeit with a host of replacement options on the table, GPFans has learned.
The race around the streets of Azeri capital Baku, which was scheduled to take place last weekend, was initially on F1's postponed list as it had been hoped it could be rescheduled later this year.
But that event will be cancelled due to the obvious logistical challenges and timeframe posed by the setting up of a street circuit, in tandem with the ongoing effects being felt by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a similar situation with regard to Singapore, currently slated for September 18-20. Organisers had stressed they were unwilling to hold their event without fans.
As no guarantees can be offered at this point that such a race could be staged, and again given the time required to plan a street race, it, too, will fall into the cancelled category.
As for Japan, the country's sporting calendar - most notably the Olympics - has been wiped out, with officials opting to make an early decision to cancel their race that was due to take place on October 9-11.
It is now certain F1 will extend its current eight-race European calendar through September when the weather will still be favourable.
The likelihood is either Mugello or Imola will host a race on September 11-13 - particularly poignant for Ferrari as that would be the Scuderia's 1,000th grand prix of its illustrious history - so completing what would be a third triple-header of the campaign.
Following a weekend off, F1 would then head to Russia for its planned race on September 25-27. There is the possibility of the Sochi track hosting back-to-back events and occupying a slot on the first weekend in October.
Whether or not there is a second race in Russia, F1 is understood to be considering returning to Europe in early October, despite the obvious challenges the weather would pose.
Any of the circuits employed up to this point would be in the running to host again, with Hockenheim another track in the running.
The planned races in the US, Mexico and Brazil are all provisional, although Mexico City event organisers recently expressed confidence their October 30-November 1 race will go ahead, and at this stage, with fans.
There could potentially be four races in the Middle East to conclude the season as both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi have indicated their willingness to each host back-to-back grands prix.
At this stage, races in China and Vietnam are looking highly unlikely, but even if ruled out, F1 is on course for its planned 15-race schedule.
Speaking on Sky's F1 Show earlier this week, F1's managing director motorsports Ross Brawn remarked that with regard to the second half of the season "there are a lot of things now starting to fall into place".
Brawn added: "The second half is proving quite challenging but I think we'll have a pretty decent season."
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