The 2023 F1 Chinese GP has been canceled! According to the press release from Formula One Management (FOM), the race in Shanghai next year has been canceled amidst the COVID-19 situation in the country. China is one of the few countries in the world with very strict COVID-19 protocols and still hasn't completely recovered from the pandemic.
In a press release confirming the cancelation of the race, the FOM stated:
"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. Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course."
China has not been part of the F1 calendar since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020. The race also lost its place in 2021 and 2022 because of the ever-developing COVID-19 situation.
The 2023 calendar featured as many as 24 races, with the Chinese GP slotted in on April 16th. Due to the ongoing situation, the race will not take place, making it four years since an F1 race was held in the country.
Since F1 last raced in Shanghai, a lot of things have changed. Mercedes is not the dominant force in the sport, and neither is Lewis Hamilton. Max Verstappen and Red Bull are at the top of the tree right now and it will be interesting to see the sport's ecosystem when the next race is held in China.
Possible replacement for the 2023 F1 Chinese GP
While there have been many names thrown around as possible replacements, multiple factors need to be considered in selecting one. The first is the position in the calendar for the race in China. This was supposed to be the fourth race of the season and was slotted in between the Australian and Azerbaijan GPs.
Should F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali wish to, there is a three-week window between April 2nd (Australian GP) and April 30th (Azerbaijan GP) in which he has to find a possible replacement. One name that has been making the rounds more prominently now is Portimao, with the sport having raced there in both 2020 and 2021. Another option could be Istanbul, a track famous for producing some great races. Nothing official has been said yet, so fans will need to wait and see what is finalized.