While Formula 1 acknowledged last week its season was likely to begin in late May, it held off postponing its three races scheduled that month. On Thursday, however, that anticipated step was officially taken.
“In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA and the three promoters, it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Gran Premio De España 2020 and Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2020 will be postponed,” the series announced. “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 traveling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
“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.
“Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 championship season as soon as it’s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.”
The announcement brings to seven the number of races postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, although on the Australian GP opener has been cancelled rather than postponed.
Yesterday, F1 teams all agreed to move the mandatory shutdown period earlier from August to March and April — extending it to three weeks at the same time — in order to open up more potential weekends for racing later in the year. A conference call is also taking place on Thursday to discuss the idea of postponing the introduction of the 2021 regulation by 12 months.
For more information about race postponements and cancellations across world motorsport, as well as updates for those holding tickets for affected events, click here.