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FI fail to find replacement for China Grand Prix

The Formula One China Grand Prix has been cancelled yet again due to COVID-19. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP

The Formula One season will be the longest ever with 23 races this year organisers announced on Tuesday despite failing to find a replacement for The China Grand Prix.

Formula One chiefs had been searching for a stand-in since they announced in December the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix for the fourth successive year citing continuing problems related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Portugal and Turkey had been rumoured as potential replacements as both have experience hosting a Grand Prix.

The specialist press also reported that China had tried to regain its place due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.  

However, Formula One issued a statement on Tuesday saying the schedule would remain at 23 races leaving a large gap between the third race, the Australian Grand Prix on April 2, and the Azerbaijan race, on April 30. 

“Formula 1 can confirm the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will kick off his bid for a third successive driver’s title in Bahrain on March 5.

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