Formula 1 managing director motorsports Ross Brawn has revealed the sport is considering an extended European calendar as a fallback plan should it not be possible to race in Asia or the Americas.
While the ambition to compete across as many continents as possible remains, Brawn admitted that, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, other options are now being considered.
"There is still quite a lot of volatility in the situation in different countries, so until that stabilises, and we can see where the situation is, it's difficult to commit," Brawn told the BBC.
"Brazil is in the middle of a very difficult period. Mexico is in the middle of a very difficult period. But we're optimistic that those situations will improve and therefore we will be able to build a programme around that."
Brawn added: "If we judge the health and safety risk is too high, even if we can meet the obligations of the country, then we may not go there.
"We can't operate at a level that is worse than the country needs. Our standards will always exceed the standards of the country we are going to."
Mexico, Brazil and the United States continue to record high numbers of new cases of the coronavirus as well as Covid-19 related deaths, statistics which put the races in serious danger of cancellation.
For races such as the Japanese and Vietnam grands prix, the problem is not the number of cases as the nations have the virus under control, it is whether the authorities would allow Formula 1 and the risk it presents into the country in the first place.
With the Olympic Games due to take place in Japan in 2021, the games already postponed by a year due to the pandemic, entry would appear particularly unlikely to be granted.
Street circuits used in Azerbaijan and Singapore also present a challenge, with considerable preparation work required to build the circuit, and Brawn admits that "it is coming to the point where decisions will have to be made" on these events.
Should it prove impossible to race outside of Europe, Brawn said an extended European calendar: "is an option if we can't have the overseas or flyaway races we'd like to have".
It is reported the Muggelo, Imola and Hockenheim are all keen to feature on this expanded calendar.
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