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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