McLaren Racing chief executive Zac Brown believes Formula 1 must prepare not to replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix next year if it cannot find a suitable replacement.
The series will not continue with last week’s scheduled race at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The cancellation of the China tournament, originally scheduled for April 16, has left a four-week gap between the third and fourth rounds of the Australian and Azerbaijan championships. Brown believes it should be filled “only if we can fill it with the right seed.”
“We shouldn’t fill up just for the sake of filling up,” the McLaren boss told Sky.
F1 was last held in China in 2011. It’s in 2019. The event has been canceled for four consecutive seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the country’s governors continuing to govern using strict city-wide lockdowns affecting millions of people.
“It’s a shame not to go back to China,” Brown said. “I think it’s an important market. I hope they fix all the covid related stuff, because I understand that’s the problem and I’ll be back in ’24.
Various candidates have been put forward to replace the competition. In the year Frenchman Paul Ricard’s circuit, which was dropped from the calendar at the end of last year, could also be an option.
The loss of the Chinese race will reduce the number of Grands Prix to 23 in 2023, which remains the record for the most in a single season.
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