The French Grand Prix is set to be the next Formula 1 event to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus crisis. French President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised address to the nation on Monday that restrictions on public events would continue until mid-July.
France’s round of the F1 championship is due to be held at the Circuit Paul Ricard, near Marseille, on 28 June. The move seems to make it impossible to hold an event that was attended by 135,000 people last year. The race would be the 10th grand prix to be called off at the start of a season that has been laid waste by the coronavirus crisis.
F1 managing director Ross Brawn said last week the calendar could feature as many as 19 races if the season can commence in July. Brawn said the season could also start as late as October and still reach the eight races required to be declared a world championship. No updates have yet been given on the Austrian Grand Prix, set to take place one week after France on 5 July. The decision on the British Grand Prix scheduled for 19th July will be taken officials at Silverstone by the end of April.
F1 is facing a serious financial shortfall as a result of the lack of racing as all three of its main revenue streams are under threat – race-hosting fees, broadcast rights and sponsorship income.Only one race has so far been cancelled permanently, with Monaco deciding to give up on its event this year because it said it could not find a suitable alternative slot. All the others have been postponed in the hope of finding alternative dates once racing can get under way.