Portimao is rumored to be the replacement on F1's 24-race calendar
Formula 1 has confirmed that in 2023, the F1 calendar will not include the Chinese Grand Prix. The race will now miss its fourth year since 2019 when the last Grand Prix was held there. Liberty Media and Formula 1 cite the country's zero-tolerance COVID-19 policy.
Already, 2023 will be Formula 1's biggest year. A record 24 races will be run across the year, making 2023 this year's most extended season ever, on top of the usual driver shakeups. With the Mercedes-AMG One now fully operational, we expect to see much more of F1's only road-legal tie-in this year, too. In addition, Formula 1 is now set to race in Las Vegas for the first time in decades.
"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," reads F1's statement to the media.
For now, it appears that F1 intends to select a replacement for the GP, dividing F1 fans. More racing is always welcome, but both teams and drivers have not been silent on the logistical strains faced by all involved in the globe-trotting sport. Previously, Formula 1 had used iconic tracks like the Nurburgring (Germany) and Portimao (Portugal) as replacements for canceled races.
For now, early rumors out of the Formula 1 paddock indicate Portimao is favored, with Portuguese media even claiming the race is back on for 2023 already.
However, many fans have been pulling for the return of a German Grand Prix for some time. F1 has not announced an official replacement for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Chinese citizens themselves have exorcised some amount of displeasure with the country's COVID policy. Across China, protests and demonstrations have sprung up following a recent surge in both Coronavirus cases and lockdowns in reaction to the new surge in cases. However, Chinese officials and state media have said that a new era of policy is incoming, indicating some level of policy shift in China.
As of publishing, it is not clear whether these changes will have an effect on the fate of the Chinese Grand Prix.