Formula 1’s hopes of staging the Chinese Grand Prix have been dealt a fresh blow after China’s sporting authority cancelled almost all international sporting events for the rest of the year.

The announcement from the General Administration of Sports means no international sports will take place in China for the rest of the year, apart from trials for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and the neighbouring city of Zhangjiakou.

The decision will affect the WTA tennis Finals which were due to be held in Shenzhen in November, two major golf events, badminton world tour finals, Asian sport climbing championships and two cycling stages.

It also effectively ends any chance of the Chinese Grand Prix being revived. The Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled to take place on April 19 as the fourth round of the 2020 season, was the first of 10 races to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated in Wuhan, which lies around 700 kilometres away from the Shanghai International Circuit which hosts China’s F1 race.

F1 kickstarted its heavily-delayed 2020 season with the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, the first of two consecutive races at the Red Bull Ring. The second, dubbed the Styrian Grand Prix, is taking place this weekend.

Six further events have so far been confirmed by F1. The Hungarian Grand Prix directly follows back-to-back races in Austria on July 19, before a second double-header at Silverstone on August 2 and August 9.

The Spanish Grand Prix is set for an August 16 slot in Barcelona to form a second triple-header of races, before F1 travels to Belgium and Italy for further rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza on August 30 and September 6 respectively.

F1 is expected to announce the next string of races for its revised 2020 calendar in the near-future, with Mugello set to be the first new event on the updated schedule.

It is understood the Ferrari-owned venue has been handed a date of September 13, creating the last part of a third triple-header following on from Spa and Monza.

 

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