MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. The 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship Dutch Grand Prix, which was postponed indefinitely earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was officially rescheduled for 2021, the organizers of the Dutch GP race announced in a statement on Thursday.
This year’s FIA F1 World Championship was intended to be the first in the history of Formula One to run in 22 Grands Prix around the globe, opening with the race in Australia on March 15 and closing with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The championship was set to see a debut of the Grand Prix in Vietnam’s Hanoi and the return of the Dutch Grand Prix, which had been absent from the race calendar since 1985.
“Due to the worldwide spread of the Corona virus (COVID-19) the inaugural Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix has, as previously announced, been postponed,” the statement from the organizers of the F1 Dutch GP, which was initially scheduled for May 1-3 at the Zandvoort racing track, reads.
“The organization of the Dutch Grand Prix, in consultation with Formula 1, has had to conclude that it is no longer possible to hold a race with fans present this year,” according to the statement. “Therefore, it has been decided that the race will not take place this season and the inaugural race will now take place during the 2021 season.”
The COVID-19 pandemic forced earlier in the year to cancel the legendary Monaco GP, as well as the Grands Prix in Australia and France. The previously scheduled races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain, Azerbaijan and Canada were postponed indefinitely.
“We and Formula 1 have investigated the potential to hold a rescheduled race this year without spectators, but we would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” the statement quoted as saying Sports Director of the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix Jan Lammers,.
“We ask everyone to be patient,” Lammers said. “I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”
The next Grand Prix after the cancelled race in France is scheduled to be held in Austria on July 3-5. The 2020 FIA F1 Russia Grand Prix, which is slated for September 25-27 in the country’s resort city of Sochi, is still on the schedule.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 5,807,100 people have been infected worldwide and more than 357,800 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,510,300 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 379,051 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 150,993 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 4,142 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.