Formula One: Azerbaijan GP becomes eighth race to get cancelled

WION Web Team Baku, Baki, Azerbaijan Mar 24, 2020, 10.41 AM(IST)

Representative Image Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Azerbaijan has become the eighth country in this year's Formula One championship to call of the race, previously, Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco had decided to suspend the event due to pandemic. 

Azerbaijan Grand Prix is the latest victim of the novel coronavirus. The Formula One race was set to take place on June 7.

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Azerbaijan GP has become the eighth country in this year's Formula One championship to call of the race, previously, Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco had decided to suspend the event due to the accelerating global pandemic. 

Also read: F1: Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix postponed whereas Monaco race called off

The organisers (Azerbaijan GP) of the race released a statement which said: "This comes as a direct result of the global Covid-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities."

Also read: Formula One: Australian Grand Prix cancelled as McLaren team member tested positive for COVID-19

"The primary concern has been the health and wellbeing of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting fans, staff and championship participants," they added. 

The Canadian GP, which is set to take place on June 14 in Montreal, is likely to be called off too as the country is tightening its restriction on travel into the country. Canada became the first country to pull out its athletes from the Tokyo Olympics. 

The Formula One chief executive, Chase Carey, predicted that more races were likely to be hit. "We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements," he said.

"Nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races."

Carey foresees the season to extend beyond November. “We anticipate the season will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29 November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original calendar,” he said.

If the global contagion continues to spread, it could lead to cancelling of the complete championship.