According to the information that has been acquired by BBC Sport, China’s return to the Formula 1 calendar for the next year will not take place due of the restrictions that the nation has about COVID.
The Formula One championship has not been conducted in China since 2019, despite the fact that the nation was slated to host the fourth race of 2023 on the 16th of April.
Formula One has ruled that the race will not take place because China has a policy of zero tolerance for corruption.
The fact that members of the Formula One staff would not be exempt from the quarantine limitations in the event that they had a Covid-19 infection is the key point of concern in this situation.
F1 is of the opinion that it cannot request that teams travel to China for the race in Shanghai because there is a possibility that staff members could be quarantined for a significant amount of time if they contracted coronavirus. As a result of this possibility, F1 believes that it is unable to make this request.
Any individual who has a positive test result for Covid-19 must comply with China’s most current rules, which state that they must spend five days in an isolation facility and an extra three days isolating themselves at home.
Many people assume that the event will be canceled sooner rather than later, despite the fact that Stefano Domenicali, the chairman and chief executive officer of Formula One, has not yet taken the decision to cancel the race in an official capacity.
The Formula One team chose not to comment on the subject because they felt it was inappropriate.
It is not expected that the sport would seek to replace China with another race, and as a result, the calendar will be trimmed to 23 races. This is still an all-time record, but it is one event less than what Formula One had previously planned to schedule.
As a direct consequence of China’s decision to withdraw from the competition in 2023, there will be a hiatus in the schedule lasting for a full month between the Grand Prix of Australia, which will take place in Melbourne on April 2, and the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan, which will take place in Baku on April 30.
Domenicali is now in Baku conducting meetings with authorities in an attempt to urge them to move the race ahead by one week, so that it would take place on April 23. However, according to the sources, he is apparently coming into resistance from the people he is speaking with.
In the event that Baku cannot be persuaded to move, it is expected that the vacant position would not be filled. This is the scenario with the highest probability.
F1 is also in discussions to extend the race contract for Azerbaijan, which is presently slated to expire the next year. The existing deal is set to expire in the year that will follow.
It was speculated that Formula One would call off the event in order to make place for additional new competitors, such as the race that is set to be hosted at Kyalami in South Africa. This prediction was supported by the fact that Formula One did call off the event.
On the other hand, Azerbaijan, which has one of the highest entrance prices of any event, is expected to negotiate a new deal that will continue for 10 years. The duration of this new contract has not yet been determined.
What precisely races are going to be considered sprints, if any?
Formula One has been refining its analysis of which racetracks are best suited to hosting sprint events, which consist of a shorter race held on Saturdays to set the grid for the following weekend’s main grand prix, and is close to settling on the six races that will host them in 2023. Sprint events consist of a race held on Saturdays to set the grid for the following weekend’s main grand prix. In sprint races, the major grand prix is preceded by a lesser race on the Saturday before it. This race determines the starting grid for the next weekend.
Azerbaijan, Austria from 30 June to 2 July, Belgium from 28-30 July, Qatar from 6-8 October, the United States Grand Prix in Austin from 20-22 October, and Brazil from 3-5 November are the events that have been provisionally scheduled to take place by Formula One.
Formula One was going to stage their second race of the season in Saudi Arabia from March 17-19, and it was going to be a sprint event. However, the race was canceled. Despite this, the Saudi authorities did not agree to pay the price that was being asked for.
At this point in time, it is not entirely out of the question to have a race of some kind take place during the event that will take place in Jeddah. In the event that discussions are restarted and a compromise is reached, there is a chance that it will replace Qatar in this role.
Formula One is pretty happy about sprint races since they bring in more money and more people to watch them on television. As a result, the number of times that sprint races are performed is going to be doubled in the next year.
On Saturday afternoon, in place of the qualifying rounds, these contests will feature a short race that will span one-third of the overall course distance. The result of the sprint will decide who will start where in the main Grand Prix, and qualifying has been moved to Friday so that the sprint may be run in the sequence that will determine who will start where in the sprint.