Formula 1 2020 Canadian Grand Prix has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as a revised calendar is being devised by promoters and F1 organisers.
The race, originally scheduled for June 12, was expected to be the first race in the competition’s stilted 2020 campaign. However, after discussions with Canadian authorities and the risk that the virus may still be prominent in June the organisers took the decision to postpone the event.
The Canadian promoters explained in a statement: “This postponement was not a decision that was taken lightly or easily. Over the past month, we have been in constant communication with Formula 1 and representatives from the city of Montréal, Tourism Montreal and both provincial and federal governments.
“We have heard the directives issued by public health officials and as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic are following the expert guidance provided by the authorities.”
With the Canadian GP postponed, attention will turn back again on F1’s initiatives to create a new schedule, whilst also protecting the safety of its staff, drivers, fans and organisers. Moreover, F1 has been a huge advocate of helping to combat COVID-19 with its ‘Project Pitlane’ scheme helping develop new coronavirus breathing aids.
Francois Dumontier, President and CEO Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, emphasised: “I am proud to see how such wonderful initiatives and technical advancements stemming from Formula 1 are being applied in a time of crisis. At the moment it is crucial that all of our energies be put together to overcome COVID-19. We will welcome you with open arms to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as soon as it is safe to do so.”
While not confirmed, it seems that the Canadian GP remains to be one of the races expected to host an event in F1’s revised calendar. As of right now the competition has kept its original tickets active until a new date has been revealed, whilst tournament officials indicate that drivers will likely race in Canada this year.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, added: “We have been working closely with our friends at the Canadian Grand Prix over the past few weeks and support them in taking this necessary decision to ensure the safety of fans and the F1 community. We always look forward to travelling to the incredible city of Montreal and while we will all have to wait a bit longer, we will put on a great show when we arrive later this year.”
To replace Canada’s GP will be its virtual counterpart as F1 will replace all scheduled races with esport events in order to maintain fan engagement. The Virtual Grand Prix Series has already hosted two events with the likes of Jensen Button and cricketer Ben Stokes joining the virtual track in last week’s event.