The F1 Chinese GP could be making a return to the sport in 2023. According to a recent report released by Racingnews365, the race that had been earlier deemed canceled could find its way back into the calendar.
A few weeks back, due to the super strict COVID-19 protocols, the Chinese GP was more or less expected to be off the calendar (it was even announced on December 2 that the race would not be held). There were even discussions about replacements in the form of Turkey and Portimao for the race.
However, with the latest developments in the country where there appears to be an easing of the protocols, the possibility of holding a race has increased. The report read,
"It was announced on December 2nd that the Chinese Grand Prix would once again not take place in 2023, with Formula 1 citing "difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation" in the country. However, since that announcement, China has rapidly rolled back many of its COVID-related restrictions and protocols, and is set to remove all quarantine requirements for international arrivals on January 8th."
"RacingNews365.com has learned from well-placed local sources that Chinese Grand Prix promoter Juss Sports is intent on hosting the race in 2023 on its original April 16th date, and has presented Formula 1 with a proposal to do so."
Is Portimao or Turkey on standby if the 2023 F1 Chinese GP does not go ahead?
In all likelihood, Turkey and Portimao will be on standby if the 2023 F1 Chinese GP does not go ahead. China is a crucial market for F1 and the sport would be looking to penetrate the market even more rather than uproot itself. Hence, the Asian race should ideally continue to hold precedence over the other two available options.
The FPAK president recently revealed that Portimao was in the running to hold the race. He said,
"Portugal is at the forefront to be able to replace China in the 2023 calendar. However, Portugal is not the only interested country, as Turkey is also in the running. It will depend on whether there are funds for Portugal to host the GP."
What this does, however, mean is that the 2023 F1 calendar will continue to have 24 races on it, and either way, F1 will be in a position to fill the slot.