The Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix have been postponed and the Monaco Grand Prix cancelled due to the global spread of the coronavirus. The news follows the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last week, and the postponement of the Chinese, Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix.
The Dutch Grand Prix, due to return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, was set to be held at Zandvoort on May 1-3, with the Spanish race following a week later, and the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21-24.
But with the ongoing coronavirus situation all three races have now been put on hold. A statement said: “Formula 1, the FIA and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.”
All parties said they would study the viability of finding alternative dates for the Dutch and Spanish races later in the year, and the statement added that Formula 1 and the FIA expect to be able to begin the 2020 season “as soon as it’s safe to do so after May” but will continue to monitor the situation.
The statement in full:
In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA and the three promoters it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Gran Premio De España 2020 and Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2020 will be postponed.
Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.
Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it’s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Update: Monaco Grand Prix cancelled
Following the news that the Monaco Grand Prix had been postponed, the organisers of the race announced on Thursday afternoon that running the event was "no longer tenable" and that therefore it was cancelled, and would not be rescheduled for later in the year.
A statement from the Automobile Club de Monaco said: "The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the FIA F1 World Championship 2020, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams, the consequences with regards to the differing measures of confinement as taken by various governments worldwide, the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable.
"As a result, and after careful consideration as to the gravity of this crisis worldwide, it is with great sadness that the AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE MONACO Board of Directors has taken the decision to cancel the 12th GRAND PRIX DE MONACO HISTORIQUE (8-10 May 2020) and the 78th GRAND PRIX DE MONACO FORMULA 1, FIA World Championship (21-24 May 2020).
"To all the fans, spectators, partners and our members, the Board of Directors wishes to express its sincere regrets that these two events cannot be postponed and under no circumstances, will it be possible to organize these events later this year."
Meanwhile, the FIA also announced on Thursday that the new F1 technical regulations would be delayed until 2022.