China falls in 2023

There will be no Chinese GP in 2023 because the ‘zero covid’ policy prevents the paddock contingent from moving to the Shanghai circuit without facing significant quarantines. The driver Guanyu Zhou will not be able to race at home next year, although he hopes to do so in 2024 or 2025, which are the rest of the races included in the eastern country’s current contract with Formula 1. There were dialogues between the championship and the organizer in the last few weeks to find a solution, but recent events make it impossible to run a grand prix weekend like anywhere else.

Formula 1 intends to hold 24 races next year, so they want to replace China with one vacancy rather than leave a three-week gap with no races on the calendar. There was talk of moving Baku a week before in order to separate it from Miami, although Azerbaijan’s reluctance has not yet allowed it. A confirmation of the replacement is not expected before Christmas, although it is not impossible.

Several circuits have been postulated recently, some in the media. This is the case of Portimao, who has sounded in recent days as a feasible replacement for Shanghai. The Portuguese GP was held in 2020 and 2021, years with a pandemic calendar, with some success and satisfaction on the part of the drivers and teams. The Algarve Autodrome is complete, although its accesses are not ideal. Although it is one of the options to fill the gap left by China on April 16, it is possible that suddenly other of the usual substitutes like Istanbul, which also hosted races in the worst of the pandemic.

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