The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has become the latest Formula 1 race to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The race was scheduled to be held on 7 June and it had been hoped that it would become the opening round of the season. It has now become the eighth race to be cancelled or postponed.
The season may now potentially begin with the Canadian Grand Prix on 14 June, but it is believed that this may also be in doubt.
The postponement will also affect the FIA Formula 2 championship, who are now unable to start their season until the Red Bull Ring on 4-5 July at the earliest.
The statement from the Baku City Circuit read: “Baku City Circuit (BCC) has today taken the decision to postpone the FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2020 due to take place on June 5th – 7th.
“The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with Formula 1 as well as the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic. This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.
“In coming to this conclusion, BCC’s primary concern throughout has been the health and well-being of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.
“BCC shares its fans disappointment at not being able to experience the pinnacle of motorsport race through the streets of Baku this June. To that end, we will continue to work closely with Formula 1, the FIA and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic to monitor the situation with a view to announcing a new race date later in the 2020 season.
“All tickets for the FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2020 will continue to be valid, without any additional formality. As soon as the new date of the Grand Prix is confirmed, all spectators will be informed accordingly about the available options, both for those who have purchased their tickets through the Baku City Circuit’s website (www.bakucitycircuit.com) and through other channels.
“The thoughts of everyone at Baku City Circuit during this challenging and unprecedented situation go out to all those directly and indirectly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wish to thank all our supporters, customers and partners for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you back to Baku later in the year for more unpredictable, thrilling racing action at the Home of the Street Fighters.
“In the meantime, we ask you to stay safe and stay at home if you can.”