Azerbaijan Grand Prix postponed in another blow to F1 calendar

Azerbaijan Grand Prix postponed in another blow to F1 calendar

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has become the latest race to be pulled from Formula One’s coronavirus-hit schedule.

F1 bosses had earmarked the June 7 race as a potential start date for the new season after the opening seven grands prix were called off.

But the event – which takes place on the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku – has now been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Race organisers hope to announce a new race date later in the 2020 season.

“Baku City Circuit (BCC) has today taken the decision to postpone the Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2020 due to take place on June 7,” read a statement.

“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.

“BCC’s primary concern throughout has been the health and wellbeing of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.”

Valtteri Bottas won last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas won last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix (David Davies/PA)

The earliest the F1 campaign can now start is at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 14.

However, the likelihood of that is deeply uncertain given the fast-moving nature of coronavirus.

F1 bosses last week announced the postponements of the Dutch and Spanish grands prix, while Monaco cancelled their May 24 slot.

“BCC shares its fans disappointment at not being able to experience the pinnacle of motorsport race through the streets of Baku this June,” continued the BCC statement.

BCC’s primary concern throughout has been the health and wellbeing of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.

“To that end, we will continue to work closely with Formula One, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) and the government of the Azerbaijan Republic to monitor the situation with a view to announcing a new race date later in the 2020 season.

“We wish to thank all our supporters, customers and partners for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you back to Baku later in the year for more unpredictable, thrilling racing action.”

All tickets for the event remain valid.

Silverstone chiefs have said they would provide fans with full refunds if the British Grand Prix, pencilled in for July 19, does not go ahead.

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