Portimao may not be Chinese GP replacement
"Formula 1 is assessing alternative options"
Portimao may not be the replacement race for the scratched 2022 Chinese GP.
Formula 1 confirmed reports that due to the "covid-19 situation" in China, the sport’s scheduled return to Shanghai after a three-year absence will in fact not take place in April.
"Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course," a statement read.
Reports suggested Portimao in Portugal was lined up as the replacement race, but Auto Motor und Sport thinks it is logistically "nonsensical" for F1 to go from Australia to Portugal and then Baku.
Simply axing China, meanwhile, would leave a gaping four-week gap in the calendar.
Portimao also has a world endurance sportscar six-hour race scheduled on the Shanghai date, leading correspondent Andreas Haupt to surmise that a "stopgap in Asia would be a better alternative".
"Moving Azerbaijan forward by two weeks is said to have also been discussed in Formula 1 Management," he added. "But it’s rumoured that there is a high probability that China will be cancelled without replacement."