Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Covid-19 takes it toll as F1 cancels all four races in the Americas

2020 F1 calendar

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Formula 1 has confirmed all of its originally scheduled races in North and South America this year have been cancelled as a result of the global pandemic.

The Canadian Grand Prix was originally due to take place on June 14th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and was postponed. It has now been cancelled along with the US round at the Circuit of the Americas (25th October), Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (November 1st) and Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos (November 15th).

“After ongoing discussions and close collaboration with our partners we can also confirm that due to the fluid
nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local restrictions and the importance of keeping communities
and our colleagues safe, it will not be possible to race in Brazil, USA, Mexico and Canada this season,” said F1 in a statement.

The USA and Brazil are the two countries which have seen the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world, with more than four million and two million respectively. Both are also reporting over 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 per day.

Formula 1 has now cancelled a total of 11 races as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as the four races in the Americas, races have also been called off in Australia, the Netherlands, Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, Singapore and Japan.

The championship today announced three further races in Europe to take place in October in November, taking the place of some of the cancelled races in the Americas.

“We want to pay tribute to our incredible partners in the Americas and look forward to being back with them next season when they will once again be able to thrill millions of fans around the world,” said Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.

The president of the Canadian Grand Prix, Francois Dumontier, said: “Though it is disappointing and difficult for us to face this conclusion it is a decision we must accept.

“The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners, and of our faithful fans are and always will be our top priority.”

The Mexican Grand Prix organisers described their event as being “postponed due to force majeure” and said those who bought tickets for this year’s event will be able to use them to attend the rescheduled raced in 2021.

Federico Gonzalez Compean, managing director of the Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix, said: “We remain committed to ensuring the safest experience for all attendees. For this reason, we’ve collectively decided to postpone the date of our race.

“We are confident that this decision will allow us to continue to offer our fans the best and safest live sports experience in the world. We will continue to work in order to welcome all of you in 2021, so we can celebrate our ‘F1esta’ together.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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75 comments on “Covid-19 takes it toll as F1 cancels all four races in the Americas”

  1. Damn. I had tickets to Montreal!

    1. Indycar is running in the US with limited numbers of spectators. It seems to be be a strange decision to cancel the US GP, other than for prohibition of the movement of F1 personnel from Europe.

      1. Using IndyCar as an example isn’t encouraging. There quite a few fans at one of the Indy Car races that were not wearing masks, etc. I tuned in to one the NASCAR races and it was much worse. IMO. Sad but true.

      2. Considering how poorly the US as a whole is “dealing” with Covid (basically not dealing with it) it seems risky to send the entire F1 paddock to the country where they need to stay in hotels, get food and otherwise interact in some unavoidable ways with a population that is doing little to prevent the spread. Then the entire season ends up ruined. I hope Americans are prepared to be banned from travel worldwide for quite some time.

        1. It’s basically almost all Trump and a relatively small number of hard right wing Americans that have enabled this disaster. 95% of people I see in Los Angeles have the mask.Trump thought he could fool Americans by preventing testing and even making sure test kits were not made. As a result, he’s way down in the 2020’preaidentic election poles

  2. Was only a matter of time…

  3. @keithcollantine are there implications in terms of “World Championship” since all the planned events are taking place in Europe?

    1. apparently rule change allows for it to be world championship with all events in same continent.

      1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
        24th July 2020, 16:12

        ah that would make sense, cause i think the current fia rules are that you must visit at least 3 continents, while this season will probably only visit Europe and asia.

        1. No Japan, Singapore and (probably) no China.
          Lewis & Mercedes would be the first driver and constructor to win F1 Europe.

          1. 1950 and 1951 had champions who had only raced in Europe. 1952 didn’t have a proper non European round either, but Ascari done the indy 500 which counted for championship points.

          2. I don’t think Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are cancelled yet. So there is a possibility of racing in Asia

    2. FiA (or was it Ross Brawn?) confirmed a few months ago that due to the special circumstances caused by covid, the requirement to race on three continents has been waived for this season.

    3. I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this, but seriously, does anyone give a sht? I mean really, who is pedantic enough to care about how many continents they race on and whether it’s a world championship or not? Its the f1 world championship and that’s that tbh

      1. Jamie B, I suspect it is because the calender, as currently proposed, fails the FIA’s own definition of what constitutes a “World Championship”.

    4. The official calendar originally included events on three continents – as they were cancelled due to force majeure, they still count towards World Championship status.

  4. The New World weeps…but please get Roger Penske on the line. IndyCar needs more races.

    1. The new world is now Chinese countries (China, Taiwan, Singapore), Korea (South) and Japan. USA is the old world. Europe is very old one.

      But speaking of weeps, you can see how deeply the virus penetrated USA. Italian scientists already suspects the virus was already in very active circulation in Italy back in late 2019. Meaning it didn’t come from China. But likely from the country that was struck most of all.

      1. Not just Italy, many scientists believe it was active in the UK in November 2019 too, and there is evidence to say as much, but not proof. However, that doesn’t mean it didn’t come from China.

  5. Good News

    No Austin Formula One saves me eight days of driving to see my countries event.
    From the Pacific Northwest to Austin and back is a long long drive.

  6. I thought Canada had gotten things under control. It’s certainly no worst than UK and Catalunya

    1. I don’t think pandemic control is the only reason for cancelling races in Americas. With no ticket sales, the burden of moving everyone and everything across the ocean along with the risk of contracting virus in the journey

    2. The circuit is in a public park. Closing the roads and park for F1, without the economic boost from visiting fans, would be difficult politically I suspect.

    3. @broke84

      It’s hard to tell, it could be that many of the people and equipment they needed for the event were from the US. They probably don’t have confidence those resources will be available.

      1. Things are quite under control here in Canada with quite low numbers but I think it is as bharat has said and is about F1 gathering themselves together to fly overseas for a race or races. Also I believe we still have a regulation that when you fly into Canada you have to immediately self isolate for 14 days. It’s been that way for about 4 months which is part of the reason we are doing as well as we are. And even as well as we have done, we have still seen a slight increase in cases just in this past week that has been put down to an increase in bar and beach goers forgoing social distancing. Ie. the age category 25-39 has been the main culprit of a small spike. But overall, yeah we’ve done relatively very very well in terms of controlling spread.

    4. @broke84 We have things under control in Canada precisely because we make hard calls like this for the greater good. It is a shame more countries don’t have their act together, because now this mess is going to last for at least another few waves. I love F1 (and going out socializing in general), but small sacrifices have to be made now so really big sacrifices don’t have to be made down the road.

    5. @broke84 It’s about climate. Montreal is too cold for F1 in October, and even more so in November.

      1. In Canada, they did race in October and late September and then moved it to June in 82, with it been too cold and it was cold.
        For Montreal, it’s not only about the race, there is also the city events taking placing over the weekend, those were also cancelled. Due to the restrictions set in place, the public wouldn’t be able to attend, even if they did hold it in Sept/Oct, and these restrictions are not going away, anytime soon.

  7. Totally unnecessary cancellations. Costs the fans two of the best races of the year also.

    1. Continuing to gleefully post facile ignorance, I see.

      @keithcollantine were you ever planning to enforce the commenting policy? Or are you happy to watch your site degrade into a cesspool of hatred and bad faith arguments?

      It’s absurd the level of action you’ve taken to uphold your own rules. Do better, man.

      1. Jason (@jblank) has a right to express his opinion, so why does Keith (@keithcollantine) need to do anything? I’d be surprised if there was complete unanimity at Liberty Media and at the FIA about cancelling these races. I think there were those who thought the same as what Jason said, and that the races should go ahead, but I think the right decision was made.

        1. Perusing his other comments, it’s clear he has continually violated the terms placed upon commenters. He’s posted in bad faith for months and only wades into conversations to try and win political points whilst edgelording all over the site.

          If I wanted to be exposed to such malignant behaviors, I’d go read Motorsport.com.

          Returning to the content of the article, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. The state of Texas is one of the hardest hit and glib disregard of reality is exactly how we’ve ended with no races in the western hemisphere.

          Ignoring bad-faith behavior is an implicit sign of condonement. @keithcollantine et al have staid their hands. Inaction has brought with it a serious uptick in toxic behavior. There is no expectation of freedom of speech on a private platform, and the rules should be enforced, full stop.

          1. @maximilian It doesn’t help that it only works if people create an account. Many people who comment here don’t create accounts & it makes this kind of analysis on a users comment history impossible.

            It’s a double standard that I wish was resolved – it’s certainly led me to not visit as often as I did because I regularly see comments that need to be challenged but when they’re posted without an account it’s impossible to tell if it’s a one off or otherwise.

          2. Listen here, if you don’t want to read what I post….DON’T! I have an opinion, I want more races, I expressed that, disagree, wonderful, such is life. I don’t post here to agree with you nor do I believe most want your authoritarian view of expression.

            We do not know how any of the four areas in NA will be in several months so to cancel now is premature and unnecessary.

          3. @maximilian I agree with you about these clowns, but let’s let them spew their nonsense and watch them flail as they try to defend their knee-jerk conservative rubbish. It is entertaining, and they may actually be forced to confront their own confused myopic opinions.

          4. @maximilian It looks to me as though you are worrying more about the situation in Texas than you are about the rights or wrongs of whether F1 should race in America. I can imagine it would be stressful for those living in Texas to have such uncertainty. Maybe I’m misunderstanding your comments, but it seems you want F1 to go ahead with a Grand prix in a country that has a serious problem with a highly infectious disease, and in a state that is a “hot spot” for the disease as well. The old fashioned analogy of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire comes to mind. If the rate of people catching the disease in America, and especially in Texas is troubling you (which it should), then why shouldn’t it also trouble those running F1 as well? Yet, despite that, you want F1 to go ahead with a Grand prix? Isn’t that what Jason (@jblank) is arguing? It seems you’re saying Jason doesn’t have the right to say what you’re saying.
            When I read the news from America I see many things that give me a sense of foreboding ill, which is why I posted what I said below, that I thought cancelling the races was wise. Others, who probably know better than me, see the situation with optimism. I don’t know the grounds for their optimism, but the onus is on them to present evidence regarding that. For those people they would be disappointed in hearing of the cancellations.

        2. @drycrust Thank you for at least being respectful and defending differing views. Sad that so many want an echo chamber rather than a forum for discussion or expression of differing views.

      2. Maximilian's mom
        24th July 2020, 22:06

        Maxy is being a right bell end

        1. Yes he is, not surprising though.

    2. I think it was a wise decision.

    3. Let me guess you think global warming is a conspiracy

    4. Totally unnecessary comment. Costs the fans a few seconds of reading.

      1. Great, but you thought enough of it to reply. Sorry for not contributing to the echo chamber you desire.

    5. @jblank Are you even thinking before you type?

    6. @jblank totally unnecessary indeed, I’m certain you know better than Formula One Management and Liberty Media who have been trying tirelessly to salvage the F1 calendar.

    7. @jblank Quite the opposite. It was fully necessary to cancel these events, especially the US and Brazilian ones as they simply aren’t safe enough for an event the size of an F1 GP this year.

  8. With Abu Dhabi and Bahrein, F1 will have their 15 races to comply with TV rights requirements.

  9. Honestly…. I am very happy about that. The US has shown the world that It is incapable to work together and does not care about it’s citizens health. And by the looks of it, we’ll get every single person infected with this. Only took 2 weeks to have 1 million additional cases.
    I know Brazil’s numbers are bad too. Not sure about Mexico. And with Canada (thought that it was being handled good there) it might be that it’s getting too cold to put on a race by then.

    1. @us-brian Yeah things are quite under control here in Canada. But we do have a restriction for those entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days. As to weather in Montreal? Yeah September would be fine, even half of October although a bit iffy, but then it would start to get dicey after that.

    2. @us-brian With Canada, it’s about climate. Montreal is too cold for F1 in October and even more so in November.

  10. Suprised and disappointed about Montreal. i figured it was and a cold fall race would have been fascinating.

    As for the other 3 I’m not surprised. There’s absolutely no assuranceno , and it buys

    1. Oops, comment box freaked out on me mid write-up and posted.

      Canada: Thought it might actually happen so a bit disappointing.

      Other 3: Zero guarantees the virus will be under control in any of those countries by then, so cut them out now, and buy extra time to find replacements. Can’t blame them for making the call.

    2. @nerrticus It’s about climate with Montreal as it’s too cold for F1 in October and November.

  11. Cancelling the Canadian GP is a little surprising but the other 3- not at all. Over here in the US things are such a mess and we have the worst President in our history who could care less about the 150,000 people who died of this virus over here. The Northeast has more or less flattened the curve- but Texas, Florida, Arizona, California- are all hot spots right now.

    1. It is difficult to see these cancellations, Even if we knew they were coming. It confirms how bad things are and highlights how miserably we failed.

    2. Key word is “right now”. To cancel a race that could be help in late October or early November in Texas is premature and unnecessary.

      1. Blanky, I think you are being short sighted about this issue, just like you were three months ago.

      2. I don’t agree. Better safe than sorry- and the coronavirus situation in Texas- particularly in the large metro areas in the Texas Triangle (the worst being Houston and other parts of South Texas- Houston is only about 2 1/2 hours away from Austin) are all really bad right now. We have a President who only works to serve himself- and the situation here with such an unreliable and indifferent federal government in regards to the virus is unpredictable and not worth the risk.

    3. @mfreire It wasn’t surprised at all. Not even to a small extent. I’m surprised it wasn’t officially cancelled already back in April when it lost its original date of June 14. October and even more so November are just too risky with the fluctuation of temperatures and how low they can get.

      1. Yeah you can’t really host the Canadian Grand Prix past the 3rd weekend in September- even the 4th weekend with temperatures averaging 62 degrees F can be risky. F1 used to have the Canadian GP in late September; it was paired with the US GP when it was at Watkins Glen.

  12. playstation361
    24th July 2020, 21:06

    I hope things are not challenging.

  13. Shocker when your country is run by idiots who don’t believe in science this is what happens

  14. Really the only surprise here is that it took so long to announce.

    Canada has been quite firm with its requirements for international visitors and has shown no intention of changing its stance or making exceptions for months so thoughts of going there were more wishful thinking than reality.

    As for the others, I’m sure the GPDA and others would have been more than concerned with the risks of entering those countries given their infection rates, so even if Liberty had wanted to go there they would have met resistance which wouldn’t have been a good look.

    In reality, they probably would have looked more decisive and competent had they cancelled these races when the initial revised calendar was released.

    1. @dbradock Indeed. The Canadian GP should’ve been officially cancelled already back in April when it lost its original date of June 14. October and even more so November are simply too risky with the fluctuation of temperatures and how low they can get in Montreal. 100% the right decision to cancel all four, especially the US and Brazilian events.

  15. As Mexican I’m satisfied the Mexico City Grand Prix is cancelled. There are so many strange things happening around this race, starting with the name. Yes, it is no longer the Mexican Grand Prix but the Mexico City Grand Prix, after local authorities decided (correctly) that there was no reason for them to finance the race with public funds only to see all earnings colected by private organizers but required (incorrectly) after reaching an agreement with organizers that sees them now financing the race to change the name for political use by the Mexico City government.
    Then is the fact that Mexico City was never a safe place to have a race this year, but again, there is a push to re-activate the economy for what look as political reasons. And finally the rumour that tickets went on sale only after it was ruled that if the race was cancelled for force majeure reasons -and the assurance that it would be cancelled for these reasons- refunds were not mandatory (as today is announced that refund is not an option “by request of the fans”, only trasference of the ticked to next year’s event).

  16. Considering that F1 is owned by Americans and is desperately trying to establish itself over there, this is a decision that won’t have been taken lightly, but it’s the correct one.

    I think Formula 1 is pushing the limits of social responsibility as it is by dotting all over Europe, particularly when the majority of its staff are based in two of the worst-affected countries. As happy as I am that F1 is up and running at last, I can’t shake the feeling that it’s still playing with fire with every race it organises.

    I do hope I’m wrong, and if F1 can complete an 18-race season trouble-free, then it will deserve every bit of praise it gets. It does seem to have gone well so far, but there’s an awful long way to go, and these new procedures heavily rely on a huge number of people playing their part.

  17. Unnecessary cancellations. Considering the F1 circus is a closed, highly tested bubble they could and should be able to go anywhere without issue.

    1. @Batos Wrong, 100% the right decision to cancel all four. Yes, the F1 circus at present stays within a highly tested bubble, but still too risky with the current COVID-circumstances to go to the Americas, especially the US and Brazil, so your claim ”should be able to go anywhere without issue” isn’t anywhere near accurate.

  18. I saw in the news this morning that France could close its border with Cataluña. If that is the case, there is little chance that the Spanish GP would take place.

    1. @reyfran I’m not worried. They could alternatively move everything there via air only if necessary.

  19. With the anti-maskers running rampant in the USA i am not surpised.

  20. It’s sad to see but not surprising at all. The US has been hit hardest by far by COVID-19, and sadly it doesn’t look like it’ll be improving in the foreseeable future because not even a public health crisis is safe from becoming a venomous political issue over there. Brazil isn’t doing too much better, and I don’t actually know what the situation is in Mexico. Thankfully, things seem to be under control in Canada, but their restrictions on people entering the country mean it would be all but impossible to make the Canadian GP happen anyway.

    To be completely honest, I’d venture to say even the 2021 USGP should be in doubt right now. Like I said, there don’t seem to be any signs of things improving, and with so many Americans not only not taking it seriously, but also actively denying the severity (and even the existence) of the disease, who knows how much longer the COVID threat will linger over there? I feel awful for the people in the US who actually value the health and safety of themselves and others.

    1. @Jake With Canada, it’s more about the climate. Montreal’s climatic conditions are far from ideal for F1 in both October and even more so November.

  21. Moisés Ganga
    28th July 2020, 2:58

    Dear (s) with those four Grand Prix in Americas are cancels how many millions dolares is are lose.

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