Friday, 12 June 2020 12:09

Photo Credit:Mercedes.

Formula 1 has confirmed the Japanese, Singapore and Azerbaijan Grands Prix have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month the opening eight races of a revised calendar for the 2020 season were announced, beginning with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in the first weekend of July.

Since then F1 have continued to work hard to finalise the remaining calendar for the season, and are confident of having between 15-18 races by the time the season concludes in Abu Dhabi in mid-December. A new calendar is expected to be published before the season begins in Austria.

Formula 1 has tried to find a way to hold the races in 2020 but announced on Friday that was not possible in the uncertain global situation.

The historic event at Suzuka is off as a result of Japan's ban on many international travellers.

Races in Singapore and Baku cannot be held because the street circuits cannot be built in the current climate.

The cancellations mean F1 has lost a further three key grands prix to the Covid-19 crisis that has already claimed the season-opening race in Australia and the blue-riband Monaco event.

Japan and Singapore are two of the most prestigious and popular races on the calendar.

Suzuka resonates with drivers and fans alike as perhaps the most challenging of all tracks, while Singapore's night event is not only a physical and mental test of endurance because of the hot, humid and bumpy conditions and length of the race, but is also popular with corporate visitors.

Azerbaijan pays one of the highest fees of all races and the Baku street track, with its super-long pit straight, has become known for its incident-packed grands prix.