Formula One’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June has become the latest victims of a season that has yet to commence due to the pandemic. The recent suspension suggests that there will be no Formula One races until the middle of June at the quickest.
The race in Baku was formerly listed for June 7 as the eighth round of the championship but all the earlier races, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix, have been dropped or called off.
Officials from the Baku City Circuit said on Monday: “The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with Formula 1 as well as the FIA and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic.
“This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.”
The next race listed after Azerbaijan is the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 14, with France following on June 28 but both races must also be counted unlikely as the virus spreads globally.
France currently has severe limitations on people’s movements while Canada has sealed its borders to all but essential travel.
Formula One has cancelled its general August shutdown, bringing it forward and extending it to three weeks in March and April in the hope of rescheduling races from earlier in the season.
Postponement of the race leaves Baku without a major sporting event this year. The city had been due to host four games including a quarter-final of the Euro 2020 soccer championship but that has now been suspended till next year.
The street circuit has long, fast straights and a twisting stretch around the old town, with some 18,000 grandstand seats plus another 2,000 hospitality and VIP. A further 10-15,000 general entry tickets are sold.