Formula 1’s French Grand Prix, scheduled for June 28, is set to be postponed after French President Emmanuel Macron declared public restrictions would continue until mid-July.
The measures have been put in place to protect the country from the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, as France extends its lockdown until May 11 with bars, restaurants, cinemas and public events closed until July.
F1 has yet to officially announce the news, however it would be impossible to host an event which was attended by 135,000 people last year. It would also be unlikely that the race will operate behind closed doors, despite F1 considering a variety of options in order to start its 2020 campaign.
The race would be the 10th Grand Prix to be canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis causing F1 serious financial harm due to the lack of racing. The firm heavily relies on ace-hosting fees, broadcast rights and sponsorship income as its main source of fund and with no races taking place, the company is unable to claim significant revenue.
As of right now only one race, the Monaco Grand Prix, has been officially canceled with all other races postponed until F1 organisers announce plans for the current campaign.
Certain measures have been put in place to ensure that the competition can be flexible with its scheduling, allowing for F1 organisers to create a ‘race calendar that best safeguards the commercial value of the Championship’.
It is expected that some of the postponed races will be cancelled, with a shortened track list expected in order to complete its season without affecting the 2021 tournament.
F1’s managing director Ross Brawn also stated that the World Championship season could be held before the end of the year, even if the first race did not take place until October. However, he added that the season could run into January 2021 in order to accommodate the amount of races needed to provide a competition season.
The news follows F1 also announcing that the car regulations set to be implemented in 2021 would be postponed until 2022, allowing manufacturers to use the same cars for two years in a row. The initiative, among other plans, is set to reduce the financial burden caused by the coronavirus crisis.