Baku to be postponed (2nd Update)
UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact.' The Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 7 June has become the eighth race of the Formula One season to be postponed or cancelled. The race in Baku was due to run back to back with the Canadian Grand Prix which is also likely not to take place.
The Azerbaijan GP had hoped to be the first race of the F1 season, with races in Australia thru Monaco already postponed.
“This comes as a direct result of the global Covid-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities,” a statement from the organizers read. “The primary concern has been the health and well being of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting fans, staff and championship participants.”
The organizers said they are hopeful of rescheduling the race but, with the increasing number of postponements, finding slots in the calendar is becoming increasingly difficult.
03/23/20 (GMM) Baku, which until now looked set to host the new 2020 season opener, is now expected to be postponed as well.
With the opening seven races on the original schedule now cancelled or postponed, Azerbaijan's June 7 event then looked set to be the first this year.
But AR1.com was the first to report the postponement, which be made official on Monday.
British GP boss Stuart Pringle, referring to the July 19 race at Silverstone, also admits cancellation is on the cards over the coronavirus crisis.
"I would like to reassure our fans that, should we be forced to cancel the grand prix, all customers who have purchased a ticket will be given the option of a full refund," he said.
The Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the globe, and looks set to potentially ruin the 2020 world championship altogether.
But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said that's not the important thing.
"We take our racing very seriously because we love it," he said in an open letter. "But in the grand scheme of things, it is by no means essential.
"The health and well being of our fans, our team members and society in general, however, is.
"In the coming weeks and months, we'll have to adapt to new challenges, but we'll approach those with the same energy and determination to those we encounter on track.
"We will not be silent but embrace our creativity and use our platform to be a positive voice in the F1 community," Wolff added.
Writing on social media, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agrees, emphasizing that the pandemic "transcends our sport and change is a necessity".
03/22/20 According to AutoRacing1.com sources, The Azerbaijan Formula 1 race, scheduled for June 7th, will be postponed.
We are told the announcement will be made official tomorrow (Monday).