F1 wants 2 races in Shanghai

SHANGHAI • Formula One (F1) chiefs want to stage two races in Shanghai this season after the Chinese Grand Prix (GP) was postponed because of the coronavirus, the city’s sports boss said yesterday, adding that there was no final decision.

This year’s pandemic-disrupted world championship is expected to launch with a double-header in Austria on July 5 and 12, with Silverstone Circuit in England also hosting two races.

The Chinese GP, originally scheduled for April 19, was postponed in February, but F1 appears determined to race in the country in the second half of this year.

Asked if there would be two grands prix in Shanghai instead of the usual one, Xu Bin, director of the city’s sports bureau, told Shanghai People’s Radio: “Everyone knows that F1 has officially announced that they have resumed the first eight European races this year, but none of them are in Asia.”

F1 was thrown into chaos in March when the curtain-raising Australian race was cancelled hours before the opening practice session as the virus spread around the world.

The Singapore, Japan and Azerbaijan GPs were cancelled last Friday over logistical problems caused by coronavirus. — AFP