Three more Formula 1 races have joined the list of grand prix’s either to be postponed or cancelled due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
F1 chiefs confirmed this year’s Dutch and Spanish Grand Prix’s have been postponed with a view to rescheduling both races later in the season.
The Netherlands was due to be holding its first F1 race since 1985 on May 3, while Spain, which agreed a one-year extension for 2020, was set to be held a week later.
A statement read: “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 and Formula 1 Gran Premio De España 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.”
Monaco originally postponed its 2020 event but the Automobile Club de Monaco announced its decision to cancel this year’s race.
It marks the first time since 1954 that an F1 season will be staged without a Monaco Grand Prix on the calendar.
In a statement issued by the ACM, they 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.”
The news now means the first seven races have all been called off, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix currently on course to hold the season opener in June.
F1 and FIA said it expects the 2020 season to start once it is “safe to do so after May”, sighting intentions to “regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation”.