Promoters of the Chinese Grand Prix have been offered the chance to stage a Formula 1 doubleheader in the back quarter of the year, however circuit bosses are not overly eager with the proposal.
The Chinese Grand Prix was the first race to be postponed earlier in the year as the national dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.
F1 organisers were then compelled to postpone and cancel the opening seven GPs before deciding on a revised eight-round European calendar commencing in Austria next month and running until September with the Italian Grand Prix.
With the uncertainty of the pandemic and any associated travel barriers the sport may have to overcome, there is now a contingency up to two further races in Europe will be held before beginning any flyaway events.
However, the Chinese Grand Prix have always voiced their desire to reschedule a round of the world championship and now reports from F1’s owners Liberty Media are reporting the Shanghai International Circuit has been offered the opportunity to host back-to-back races.
But speaking to Shanghai People’s Radio, the city’s Sports Bureau Director Xu Bin admitted no decision has been made and the circuit will continue to ponder on any firm verdict before making an announcement.
“International sport organisations care a lot about these world-class sport events in China and Shanghai.
“Despite a lot of changes of our events due to the pandemic, we have received support from international sport organisations and national associations for some of our events.
“We would be allowed to hold the events in Shanghai at a suitable time in the second half of the year, depending on the situation of the pandemic.”
Asked about the possibility of back-to-back races, Mr Xu said:
“No decision has been made yet. It’s proposed by FOM.
“F1 has announced they will resume the opening eight European races, without any round in Asia. The event originally scheduled…has been postponed to the second half of the year.
“During the discussion, FOM asked whether we could host two races in Shanghai. It’s not been decided. It will depend on the situation of pandemic.”
China’s delay of any decision will not overly please F1 as the sport continues to piece together a world championship calendar.
Races in Imola, Portugal and Germany have all been mooted as possible alternatives should F1 be forced to run more European races.
The revised season-opener will kick off from 1.10 am NZT Monday, July 6 and will have both the F2, F3 as well as the Porsche Supercup on the support card.