Formula 1 has cancelled the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix.
The sport had been set to return to China for first time since 2019, in what was scheduled to be the fourth round of a record 24-race season on April 16.
However, with China continuing to implement a zero-Covid policy, which has led to heavy restrictions and continued lockdowns, F1 has decided it is not feasible to hold a race at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The cancellation reduces the schedule to 23 rounds, although F1 are understood to be in discussions about possible replacements.
There is currently a four-week gap between races in Australia and Azerbaijan at the beginning and end of April but there are several interested parties in taking China’s spot, including Portimao for a Portuguese GP, which returned to F1 in 2020 and ’21.
A 23-race calendar would still be a record for F1, with a bumper schedule including a debut Saturday night race in Las Vegas.
F1 expects to confirm whether the round in Shanghai will be replaced in the New Year.
F1 said in a statement: “Formula 1 can confirm, following dialogue with the promoter and relevant authorities, that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation.
“Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.”