KEY POINTS

  • China has been offered the chance to host two Formula 1 race slots
  • There are fears of a second COVID-19 wave in Shanghai 
  • Formula 1 hopes to run 15 to 18 races in the new season

China may be in a position to hold two Formula 1 races this year amid concerns of the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

According to the Shanghai Sports Bureau, China has received an invitation to host the events, but no decision has been made to reject or accept the offer. This comes after Formula 1 expressed its plans to run fifteen to eighteen races this season.

The decision to accept or reject the invite will be up to the Shanghai Sports Bureau chief executive. Under the standard calendar, the Chinese Grand Prix was supposed to start last April 19 in Shanghai International Circuit, but had to be rescheduled until later because of the global pandemic.

Despite the situation, Formula 1 Management is revising and shortening the provincial European schedule so it can hold events without spectators. The first will be in Austria on July 5.

Shanghai Administration of Sports Director Xu Bin said they had been approached with hosting two races in Shanghai. He said the final decision would depend “on the potential changes of the situation in the coming month."

In March, Australia Grand Prix was grounded to a halt hours before the first practice session after a personnel member of the McLaren team was found infected with the virus. 

Fears of a potential second wave of the COVID-19 virus in Shanghai have emerged as Beijing authorities reported that, as of June 15, there had been 27 confirmed cases.

Taiwan, South Korea and Japan have started easing restrictions and even resumed professional sports events while China remains cautious about opening up.

According to the Guardian, the Chinese Basketball Association League is also set to return Saturday, but no fans will be present. The teams are expected to use two central hubs, Dongguan and Qingdao.

Xu added that the Chinese administration was in talks with other sports international organizations in recent months on the topic of hosting events in China.

nico-4341623_640 Formula 1 Photo: Pixabay