Azerbaijan Grand Prix set to be latest F1 postponement

23 March 2020 - 07:20 By Reuters
Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan on April 28 2019.
Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan on April 28 2019.
Image: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Formula One's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in June looks set to become the latest casualty of a season that has yet to start due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The race in Baku was originally scheduled for June 7, as the eighth round of the championship, but all the earlier races, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix, have been cancelled or called off.

There was no immediate comment from race organisers, but sources indicated it would be postponed.

The motorsport.com website said an official statement was expected on Monday.

Preparation of the street circuit, which requires extensive safety fencing and barriers, as well as the sealing of drain covers and asphalting, would have to start soon.

The next race scheduled after Azerbaijan is the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal on June 14, with France following on June 28, but both races must also be considered uncertain as the virus spreads.

France has stringent restrictions on people's movements, while Canada has closed its borders to all but essential travel.

Formula One has cancelled its usual 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 would leave Baku without a major sporting event this year. The city had been due to host four games, including a quarterfinal of the Euro 2020 soccer championship, but that has now been postponed to next year.

The street circuit has long, fast straights and a twisting stretch around the old town, with about 18,000 grandstand seats and 2,000 hospitality and VIP seats. A further 10,000 to 15,000 general admission tickets are sold. 


X