F1 scraps 2020 races in Japan, Singapore & Azerbaijan as Covid-19 continues to decimate racing calendar
This season's Formula One races in Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan have been cancelled as F1 bosses continue to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka - a particular favorite among drivers and fans - has been cancelled due to the country's restrictions on international travelers.
The street-based races in Singapore and Azerbaijani capital Baku would not be able to be constructed due to issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers said.
"As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season," an F1 statement read.
"These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries.
"In Singapore and Azerbaijan the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race."
F1 has already seen major Grands Prix such as the season-opening race in Melbourne, Australia, and the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.
In all, the first 10 events of the F1 calendar have either been postponed or cancelled, although motorsport chiefs are still aiming to hold 15-18 races this season.
The schedule has been rearranged for a mainly European-based calendar, with action starting from early July with back-to-back weekend racing in Austria.
The F1 circus is then set to head to Hungary on July 19 before arriving at Silverstone in for two races in Great Britain on August 2 and 9.
The season then heads to Spain, Belgium and Italy on August 16, 30 and September 6 respectively.
"We have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a Formula 1 race during the 2020 season," Friday's F1 statement said.
"We appreciate this is still a time of uncertainty and complexity around the world and will continue to ensure we proceed with the 2020 season in a cautious and flexible way. We have detailed and robust safety plans in place to ensure we begin our season in the safest possible way."