Despite circuit officials saying that preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix are continuing as planned, the withdrawal of Team Canada from the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games has cast fresh doubt on the race that has currently been cast as the new 2020 season opener.
Bahrain, China, Vietnam, Spain, the Netherlands and Azerbaijan have all seen their grands prix postponed. The Monaco Grand Prix has been outright cancelled while Melbourne officials continue to insist that the Australian race has only been postponed and not cancelled as the initial statements had said.
Now, the Canadian Grand Prix, the race now sitting as the season opener, is thought to be in imminent danger of postponement after Team Canada announced their withdrawal from the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020," read the Team Canada statement.
"The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring. While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.
"This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow."
Canadian Grand Prix officials released their own statement on Monday saying that preparations were progressing as planned while also admitting that they were closely monitoring the ever changing situation.
"The preparations for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2020 slated in the Formula 1 World Championship for June 12,13 and 14 are going well and are following their course," read the statement.
"This is a situation that we are constantly monitoring and that is evolving rapidly.
"Please note that we are in constant communication with members of Formula 1, the FIA and public authorities. Our priority remains to host a safe event for both spectators and personnel.
"Should the situation continue to evolve we will lean on the expertise of public health professionals and will keep you updated."