Start, Shanghai, 2017

F1 should only replace Chinese GP if it finds the “right race” – Brown

2023 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Formula 1 should be prepared not to replace next year’s cancelled Chinese Grand Prix if it does not find a suitable replacement event, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes

The series announced last week its planned race at Shanghai International Circuit will not go ahead.

The cancellation of China’s race, which was originally scheduled to take place on April 16th, leaves a four-week gap between the third and fourth rounds of the championship in Australia and Azerbaijan. Brown believes it should only be filled “if we can get filled with the right race.”

“We shouldn’t just fill it for the sake of filling it,” the McLaren boss told Sky.

F1 last raced in China in 2019. The event has been cancelled for four consecutive seasons due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which the country’s rulers continue to manage using strict city-wide lockdowns affecting millions of people.

“It’s a shame we’re not going back to China,” said Brown. “I think it’s an important market. Hopefully they’ll get all their Covid-related stuff sorted out, because I understand that’s the problem, and go back there in ’24.”

Various candidates have been mooted as potential replacements for the race. During the pandemic-affected years of 2020 and 2021, F1 pressed several alternative venues into service including the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal and Istanbul Park in Turkey. France’s Paul Ricard circuit, which was dropped from the calendar at the end of last year, could also be an option.

The loss of China’s race reduces the number of grands prix on the 2023 calendar to 23, which remains a record for the most ever held in a season.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 F1 season

Browse all 2023 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

23 comments on “F1 should only replace Chinese GP if it finds the “right race” – Brown”

  1. And which race is the right race?

    Personally, I don’t feel all that enthusiastic about another European or Middle-Eastern race, and would much prefer something much closer to China – where this one was supposed to be.

    Unfortunately, the countries that do have decent, suitable circuits don’t have the money anymore. F1 has priced itself out of those markets.

    1. The one who gives the most money to F1 organizers?

      1. If someone offers enough, I’d expect that to be correct.
        However, if there aren’t any offers that meet the required financial threshold, they’ll instead be ‘giving the teams the opportunity to rest and recover, and spend more time with their families.’
        How generous of them.

  2. “Hopefully they’ll get all their Covid-related stuff sorted out”

    Because the other stuff doesn’t matter as much as making money.

    1. Well it’s certainly not Covid, it’s now nothing more than a sniffle for the large majority (not that it was a serious threat to them anyway).

      Its must be some sort of self/international imposed regulation making them overly sensitive in bringing events back.

      1. Well it’s certainly not Covid, it’s now nothing more than a sniffle for the large majority (not that it was a serious threat to them anyway).

        Yeah, other than the 6+ million deaths, and the permanent respiratory issues, and the still not-yet-understood changes to the brains that most of the people who contracted the disease are showing on post-covid MRI scans, it was “just a sniffle”.

        For me, it was barely a cold– except I lost two points on my average SpO2 permanently.

        You know there have been protests across China in response to the draconian lock-down measures, right?

      2. Well it’s certainly not Covid, it’s now nothing more than a sniffle for the large majority (not that it was a serious threat to them anyway).

        Never had more than a sniffle (and 5 bouts of flu) in my whole life, didn’t have a clue what the sick note procedure was – got Covid, recovered enough to know where I was and what hurt, then spent 6 months sick with every muscle in my body aching day and night.

        Yep, definitely a nothing ailment.

        China need to stop the nationalistic view regarding their vaccines. They have more than enough capacity to make enough Oxford vaccine for the whole population, but that removes one prop in their repressive regime.

        Meanwhile, there are other countries that F1 can race, in fact drop a few of the high profile repressive regime countries, and they could put many of them on the clendar.

  3. I still feel like Sepang is one of Tilke’s few great creations, and would love to see these modern cars race in Malaysia.

    1. Definitely a good track with interesting racing, last we saw them.

  4. So it will be the race which offers the most money

    1. The next most, as all highest-paying locations, i.e., Middle East ones, are already on next season’s race calendar.

  5. I’d like to see the built but not used Vietnam circuit brought out to play!

    1. Me too @kev-f1 but it won’t or can’t be.

  6. playstation361
    6th December 2022, 16:43

    I think many will oppose complete US domination from now on. We will have to wait and watch the change after the holiday season.

  7. Watching Zak at Bathurst recently re-kindled my dream of seeing F1 cars attacking the mountain in anger.

    I know it’s not possible but it’s a nice fantasy for me.

    1. I saw JB and Loundsey do a few laps in a McLaren some years back. JB’s lap still stands as the fastest ever around Mt Panarama. I suspect it always will. For the record, Loundes was 1 sec slower than JB. Not too shabby.

      1. Glennb

        Yeah thanks for the memories. Wasn’t there . Promo for OZ GP? but I think they both had a McLaren run then each in Lowndes Supercar.
        You’re right Lowndesies effort was something.

        Not pushing anyones barrow, just wish path to F1 was wider (globally) not just for drivers from my region.

        McLaughlin went fine as rookie in Indy.
        Heaps of talent across all sorts motorsport.

        I know I know if they really want to get to F1 go karting f3 etc.

        1. It was a Vodafone marketing event. Had nothing to do with any racing event.
          Button wasn’t interested in pushing around a track he doesn’t know on a corporate day – and the car wasn’t set up for it anyway. Just raised a bit as the track was still pretty bumpy back then.

          The crossover did remind people, though, that despite Lowndes being an experienced open-wheel racer, the skills of racing drivers are pretty universal.
          Likewise, Button later went on to race GT’s in Japan, winning the championship on his first attempt (but having a pretty ordinary season in his second and final year).

          And the path to F1? Yep, it’s pretty well established.

  8. He couldn’t be more right. Filling for the sake of filling would indeed be pointless.
    I think people should be more realistic with their replacement option expectations.
    Since Istanbul Park’s situation proved unideal for Russian GP replacement purposes over political stuff, from what I recall, how would this time be different?
    I found out yesterday that Algarve could only substitute if WEC were willing to move their 6H event from the original Chinese GP weekend.
    I’m unsure how willing WEC as a series would be toward doing something for F1.
    If they were as hell-bent on keeping the originally-scheduled weekend as Baku, the season would likely end up with another summer break-long interval unless Circuit Paul Ricard found enough finances for one more appearance.

  9. Taiwan number one

  10. Coventry Climax
    7th December 2022, 16:14

    This is becoming silly. If they would have agreed on a 10 race season, then ten races is what it should be. Races skipped would amount to an incomplete season. There wouldn’t be too many disagreeing on that.
    Now they have agreed on 24 races and this suddenly isn’t valid anymore? That shows how expendable races, sprints, practice sessions etc. have become, thanks to F1’s ‘more, more’ mentality. And proves the devaluation of events when there’s too many of them.
    But OK, these are Brown’s words, let’s wait and see what happens.
    To be clear, I feel it’s all too much and especially these sprint thingies add to the watering down significantly.
    But if you agree on something, stick to your word.

  11. Would love to see a Philippines GP. A street race around Mall of Asia could work with a bit of redevelopment. I think they were planning something like that a few years ago but not heard anything for a long time.

Comments are closed.