The organizers of the Chinese Grand Prix have been approached about hosting two Formula 1 races in Shanghai this year, but have yet to make a decision due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The race at the Shanghai International Circuit was originally scheduled for April but was the first round to be postponed as the Covid-19 situation worsened earlier this year. As the situation in the area improved, negotiations have continued regarding a potential new date later this season, and that has extended to the sport sounding out the potential of hosting two events.
“FOM asked us if it is possible for Shanghai to hold two races,” Shanghai Administration of Sports director Xu Bin was quoted as saying by Reuters, sourcing state news agency Xinhua. “We have not made the final decision, depending on the potential changes of the epidemic situation.”
China would not be alone in hosting two races should it do so, with the opening two rounds both taking place at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on July 5 and 12, and Silverstone also set to host back-to-back events on August 2 and 9.
Bahrain has also been suggested as a venue that could hold a pair of races given the track layouts available at the Bahrain International Circuit, with F1’s managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn last week saying an “almost oval” outer circuit is an option.
At present, eight races have been confirmed in 2020, all taking place in Europe, with the final one at Monza on September 6. F1 is understood to be looking at adding some further European rounds in September – confirming the availability of Mugello and Hockenheim, while Portimao has also been reported as a potential venue – as well as monitoring whether Russia, Vietnam, Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil can host any races before finishing the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
In recent days, parts of the Chinese capital Beijing have gone into a state of lockdown for fear of a fresh COVID-19 outbreak following a number of confirmed new cases.