Monaco Grand Prix canceled; two Formula One races postponed

Robert Szaniszló/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Monaco Grand Prix, a crown jewel of Formula One, was canceled Thursday because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Two more races were postponed. The Dutch Grand Prix (slated for May 1-3 after returning to the calendar for the first time in 35 years) and Spanish Grand Prix (May 8-10) were put on hold.

Monte Carlo had been set for its traditional Memorial Day weekend (May 21-24). This will mark the first time since 1954 that F1 won’t race in Monaco.

Because it’s a street race that requires the construction of a temporary course, rescheduling is logistically difficult (in IndyCar, the street races at Long Beach and St. Petersburg also have been canceled).

Formula One already had canceled the season opener at Australia and announced the postponements of the Chinese, Bahrain and Vietnam races.

In a release, the FIA said it’s studying the viability of rescheduling the races later in the year and expected to begin the 2020 season as soon as it’s safe after May.

Here’s the release from the FIA:

“In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with Formula 1 and the three promoters, it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2020 and Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2020 will be postponed.

Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula 1 and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the traveling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.

The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.

The FIA and Formula 1 expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it is safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.”