Formula 1 Won't Replace the Canceled Chinese Grand Prix

F1 confirms that the Chinese Grand Prix has once again been canceled, meaning we'll have only 23 races in the 2023 season.

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A photo of Valtteri Bottas racing at the Chinese Grand Prix
I miss China’s space-age mushrooms.
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

The “will they, won’t they” dance around the Chinese Grand Prix has been ongoing for what seems like forever. The event was first canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Formula 1 hasn’t raced there since. Now, after the event made a brief appearance on the 24-race-strong 2023 calendar, F1 has once again confirmed that the Chinese Grand Prix won’t, in fact, take place this year.

Formula 1 was slated to make its long-awaited return to China on April 16th, 2023, according to the initial F1 schedule released last year. But the event, which would have been F1’s first race in Shanghai since 2019, was pulled from the schedule last month.

F1 and the FIA cited Covid-19 restrictions in China as the reason for its cancellation. The country announced it was taking a “zero approach” to Covid-19 as cases began to rise once more, which meant the return of widespread lockdowns and mandatory isolation for anyone infected with the virus.

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A photo of the Formula 1 grid on the opening lap of the Chinese Grand prix.
Every F1 car livery looked better in 2019, and you can’t convince me otherwise.
Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service/Visual China Group (Getty Images)

Following backlash against the policies, China has backtracked on some of these measures. This led outsiders to believe the Chinese event could make a comeback later in the season. But, in a very un-imaginative statement, Formula 1’s organizers said that wouldn’t be the case. The statement said:

“Formula 1 can confirm the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged.”

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The removal of China from the calendar, and F1’s quite sensible decision not to replace it with yet another race, means there’s now a three-week gap between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2nd and the next round in Baku on April 30th.

The latest update to the F1 schedule means there will now be one more race this year, compared to 2022. The 23 races being held this year include a new event in Las Vegas as well as Formula 1’s return to Qatar.

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A photo of Max Verstappen racing his Red Bull F1 car in China.
Last time F1 raced in China, this guy had just five race wins. Now he has 35.
Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

To make space for these new events, the 2023 calendar will miss the French Grand Prix for the first time since 2020, when it was pulled from the schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The 2023 Formula 1 calendar includes:

Bahrain, March 3rd - 5th

Saudi Arabia, March 17th - 19th

Australia, March 31st - April 2nd

Azerbaijan, April 28th - 30th

Miami, May 5th - 7th

Emilia Romagna, May 19th - 21st

Monaco, May 26th - 28th

Spain, June 2nd - 4th

Canada, June 16th - 18th

Austria, June 30th - July 2nd

United Kingdom, July 7th - 8th

Hungary, July 21st - 23rd

Belgium, July 28th - 30

The Netherlands, August 25th - 27th

Italy, September 1st - 3rd

Singapore, September 15th - 17th

Japan, September 22nd - 24th

Qatar, October 6th - 8th

USA, October 20th - 22nd

Mexico, October 27th - 29th

Brazil, November 3rd - 5th

Las Vegas, November 16th - 18th

Abu Dhabi, November 24th - 26th