The French Grand Prix at the end of June has been officially canceled due to government restrictions, pushing the start of the Formula 1 season back to July at the earliest.
France president Emmanuel Macron has banned major events until at least the middle of July, prompting the race organizers to acknowledge the “impossibility” of maintaining its event on the same June 28 date. With Formula 1 working on a revised calendar and starting to clarify when and where it can hold races, unlike many other events the race at Paul Ricard has been canceled completely and will look to return in 2021.
“Given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the French Grand Prix takes note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain our event,” French GP managing director Eric Boullier said. “The eyes of the GIP Grand Prix de France – Le Castellet are already turning towards the summer of 2021 in order to offer our spectators an even more original event in the heart of the Southern Region.”
Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey says the steps are in response to the government’s position, which will not allow a behind-closed-doors event to take place.
“We have been in close contact with the French promoter during this evolving situation, and while it is disappointing for our fans and the F1 community that the French Grand Prix will not take place we fully support the decision taken by the French authorities in France and look forward to being back at Paul Ricard soon,” Carey said.
The French Grand Prix is the 10th race of the original 2020 calendar to be cancelled or postponed, but F1 is still targeting a season restart at the following planned round in Austria on July 5.