Formula 1 is set to officially cancel the Chinese Grand Prix due to the country’s zero-Covid policy.
The race was to be held on April 16 next year.
However, BBC Sport reports that it is “inevitable” that the grand prix will not go ahead as planned.
2023 was scheduled to be the first time since 2019 that F1 travelled to China, as it has not done so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2019 edition of the race, which was won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, was the 1000th World Championship event since the formation of the series in 1950.
China’s current rules state that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 must spend five days in an isolation centre, as well as three days of isolation at home.
F1 staff would not be given exemptions from the quarantine rules, according to BBC Sport, leaving the sport unwilling to risk its personnel becoming stuck in the country.
The report also states that F1 is not looking to replace China on the calendar.
This would reduce the schedule to 23 races, which still stands as the series’ longest-ever calendar.
However, China’s cancellation leaves a mammoth four-week gap in the calendar between the rounds in Australia and Azerbaijan.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is said to be speaking with Baku’s organisers to have the race rescheduled.
The Chinese Grand Prix extended its contract with F1 last year, with the current deal running to 2025.