With the 2020 Formula One season underway, and a revised schedule until early September, spirits are high in the motorsports community after a dismal first half of the year due to COVID-19. However, because we’re not out of the woods yet, Formula One has released a statement indicating that the Singaporean, Japanese and Azerbaijan Grand Prix will be postponed indefinitely for the 2020 season.
A statement from F1 said, “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.”
“At the same time, 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.
Singapore race organisers had also released a statement, where Mr Colin Syn, Deputy Chairman of Singapore GP Pte Ltd (SGP) said, “The last few months have been extremely challenging on all fronts, and we have now made this difficult decision which Formula 1 and our stakeholders accept we have had to take. Ultimately, the health and safety of our contractors and their workers, spectators, Formula 1 crew, staff and volunteer marshals is our number one priority and we thank everyone for their patience and unwavering support thus far.”
“While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to host the race this year, we look forward to welcoming fans to the race next season and wishes the Formula 1 community well as it starts its season in July,” he added.
Ms Ong Ling Lee, the Director of Sports, Singapore Tourism Board also commented, “The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) supports the joint decision by race promoter Singapore GP Pte Ltd and Formula 1 to cancel the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2020, as this safeguards the health and wellbeing of participants, fans and all Singaporeans.
“We take pride in our track record of hosting the first and only F1 night street race for the past 12 years, and we look forward to its return next year.” said Ms Ong.
Aside from the thrills of the night in Singapore, the Baku street circuit in Azerbaijan has consistently been one of the more exciting races since its introduction in 2017. The infamously tight corners and wide main straight lend to some intense overtaking and wheel-to-wheel action, along with its fair share of spectacular crashes. The Suzuka circuit in Japan was also among the most popular races, with the energetic atmosphere and overall exciting on-track racing. Losing these races will definitely be a blow to F1 fans all over.
There is a silver lining, there are numerous exciting back-up plans on the cards to complete the 2020 season.