Chinese GP off; Nürburgring, Malaysia in talks; Spain on
The Chinese Grand Prix is to officially be cancelled for this Formula 1 season, sources have informed GPFans.
There are also no plans to call off the round in Spain, despite a ramping up again of the Covid-19 restrictions in the region close to the circuit, while an October race at the Nüburgring is now on the cards.
F1 had hoped to stage at least one round of this year's truncated championship at the Shanghai International Circuit in October.
Although China's General Administration of Sport announced a fortnight ago the cancellation of all international sporting events, with the exception of trials for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, F1 continued talks with Chinese and Shanghai officials.
But it has become clear in recent days that the hurdles needed to be cleared in order for the event to go ahead are far too numerous given the planning and preparation required to attend.
It has left F1 to seek alternative venues in Europe, with the Nüburgring now amongst the list of possible alternatives for an October slot following the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix on the first weekend of that month.
Although the Portimão circuit has yet to be officially confirmed, F1 is understood to be looking to finalise dates with at least two other circuits before announcing its next tranche of races following the Russian Grand Prix at the end of September.
To this end, the Nürburgring, that last hosted an F1 race in 2013, is being considered alongside Imola, as well as the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia that has been off the calendar since 2017.
The Spanish Grand Prix, meanwhile, will go ahead as planned on the weekend of August 14-16.
There had been suggestions of a cancellation, and Silverstone staging a third race to fill the void, but these have been firmly rejected.
While Catalonia is experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases that has led to the reintroduction of certain 'lockdown' measures to control it, including a 15-day stay-at-home order, the circuit is unaffected as it sits on the outskirts of the region.
Travel advice is currently unchanged, and there remains the alternative of Girona airport rather than Barcelona itself, while F1 is known to be working on plans to ensure all involved stay in safe areas.
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