Formula One has postponed the three races scheduled to take place in May — the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix — in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The start of F1’s season has been pushed back due to the global crisis. The first four races — Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China — have already been postponed. The May races were not expected to go ahead as planned and that news was confirmed on Thursday.
An F1 statement said: “Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
F1 and coronavirus: What’s happening to the 2020 calendar?
With F1 on hold indefinitely in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Nate Saunders, Alexis Nunes and Laurence Edmondson discuss the implications on the 2020 calendar.
Listen to the latest episode.
“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.”
Lewis Hamilton leads the pack through Turn 1 at the Monaco Grand Prix. Mark Thompson/Getty Image
While the Dutch GP (May 3) is likely to be rescheduled, it looks unlikely the Spanish GP (May 10) will happen in 2020. Given the preparation required to build the famous Monte Carlo circuit it is also unlikely the Monaco Grand Prix (May 24) will be rearranged.
Monaco’s famous race has been on the F1 calendar every year since 1955. It also hosted world championship-era races in 1950 and 1952.
F1 originally said it hoped to start the season at the end of May, but the latest announcement means June’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku is the current start point of the season.
Thursday’s statement said F1 hopes to restart the season “as soon as it is safe to do so”.