18 Jan 2023

Formula 1: Chinese Grand Prix will not be replaced in 2023

6:57 am on 18 January 2023

The cancelled Chinese Grand Prix will not be replaced this year.

Mercedes Formula One driver George Russell.


It was announced in December that the 2023 race was called off because of "ongoing difficulties" with Covid in China.

F1 has rejected a request from the Chinese organisers for the race to be reinstated and will not replace its 23 April date with another event.

"Formula 1 can confirm the 2023 season will consist of 23 races," a statement said.

"All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged."

The Shanghai race was due to return in April for the first time since 2019.

Logistical issues are at the heart of the decision not to fill China's spot with an alternative race.

F1's decision to cancel the Chinese Grand Prix was made because of the restrictive zero-Covid policies that were in place last year.

Widespread popular protests led to the government lifting its restrictions but there has since been a surge in cases.

This has led to a number of countries - including the UK, France, Germany and Italy - imposing restrictions on travellers arriving from China, and F1 considered that there was too much uncertainty surrounding the situation to risk holding a race there.

The decision means that there has been no Chinese Grand Prix since 2019, and raises questions about the future of the event.

The removal of China leaves a four-week gap between the Australian Grand Prix on 2 April and the Azerbaijan race on 30 April.

F1 did look into replacing China with another event, which would likely have been in Europe, but decided that adding an extra travel leg - which would have been very different from Australia to China - was too much added complication with just six weeks remaining until the start of the season.

Had China taken place or been replaced, F1 would have held a record 24-race season in 2023. As it is, 23 grands prix is still the most ever held in a year.

The 2023 F1 championship starts in Bahrain on 3-5 March. Pre-season testing, also at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit, is 23-25 February.