Bengaluru, June 12: Formula One (F1) organisers have cancelled three more Grands Prix -- Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan -- from the 2020 calendar due to the logistical issues caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It is presumed that the long lead times required to construct the Singapore and Azerbaijan street circuits made hosting those events impossible, while travel restrictions made things difficult in Japan.
F1 had already cancelled four other races, including the showcase Monaco Grand Prix as well as the Australian, French and Dutch Grands Prix.
As lockdowns restrictions are being eased all over the world, the season is due to start on July 5 with two races behind closed in Austria, followed by six other Grands Prix in Europe as per a shortened provisional schedule.
"As a result of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19, we and our promoters in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan have taken the decision to cancel their races for the 2020 season," an F1 statement said.
"These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries.— Formula 1 (@F1) June 12, 2020
"At the same time we have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar"https://t.co/9li9JzvnOn
Singapore Grand Prix organisers said prohibitions imposed on access and construction of the event venue had forced the cancellation of the spectacular night race.
"Apart from the closure of the event venue, other challenges include ongoing mass gathering and worldwide travel restrictions," they added.
Singapore has nearly 39,000 COVID-19 cases, one of the highest tallies in Asia.
"In Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race," said F1.
Japan's round of the MotoGP championship, which was due to take place on October 18 at Motegi after the F1 race at Suzuka on October 11, had already been cancelled due to the expected extension of a travel ban.
The MotoGP came up with a revised provisional calendar for the 2020 season featuring just 13 races with five circuits set to host back-to-back races.
"We've made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a race during the 2020 season," the F1 statement added.
A second race in Italy has been mooted, while Germany's Hockenheim and Portugal's Algarve circuit in Portimao are other possibilities. Sochi in Russia could also host two races.
(With inputs from Agencies)