Given there are still eight races on the calendar with much of the current focus resting with the two back-to-back races slated for Spielberg (separated by a week, the home of Austrian GP) a lot is expected to come out of 2020’s curtain-raiser.
Lest it is forgotten it was here at 2018 and 2019, where Max Verstappen raced away to take the checkered flag, first up beating the Mercedes’ and Ferrari’s and later, as seen in 2019, holding an edge over Leclerc.
Or will Ferrari fire the opening salvo? Meanwhile, let’s not downplay Mercedes, who’ll be curious to kick off their year with a win.
So will it be “Hammertime?”
That being said, despite the massive disappointment of 3 race cancellations, there’s, at least, some expectation to see some worthy action ahead of us. Isn’t it?
Gear up, then.
Anyone who said there’s no dull day in Formula 1 wasn’t bluffing. What would he or she earn of it?
Within days of the fans’ expectation being heightened by the fact that the season was finally getting underway (that two with the Austrian double-header), only for joy to get doubled by Lewis and Valtteri taking their cars for a spin at Silverstone resuming practice, in comes news that may not leave too many happy faces.
It’s breaking news right now that not only the Japanese Grand Prix but the races at Azerbaijan and Singapore too, have been cancelled.
Yes, you read that right. No more seeing closely-fought tussles in the street circuit of Singapore. No contest whatsoever at the home of 130 R. And definitely no contest at all at the famous Central Asian nation.
In what can only be construed as a major downer of sorts, the fact that 3 races stand cancelled cannot possibly leave anyone with anything else to say that the development is utterly disappointing and sad.
This is even more striking because not too long ago was one hearing about the prospective additions to what is already a truncated calendar. This is, if you forgot that no more than 8 Grands Prix have been announced.
But that said – why has this step been taken and what happened?
Let’s dive deep into the matter and try to establish why this may have happened:
A statement from F1 released on Friday morning said: “As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season.
“These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries.
In Singapore and Azerbaijan, the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race.