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F2’s Baku round postponed, season start in Austria

by Ida Wood

Formula 2’s Baku round has become the fourth of the season to be postponed by the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Azerbaijani capital had moved into the season opening slot for the championship after Formula 1 races at Bahrain, Zandvoort and Barcelona were postponed, and the Monaco round was cancelled.

It too has now succumbed to postponement, provisionally leaving the F2 calendar at seven rounds and with a start date of July 4/5 at Austria’s Red Bull Ring.

“Baku City Circuit (BCC) has today taken the decision to postpone the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2020 due to take place on June 5-7,” read a circuit statement.

“The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with F1 as well as the FIA and the government of the Azerbaijan Republic. This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.

“In coming to this conclusion, BCC’s primary concern throughout has been the health and well-being of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.

“BCC shares its fans’ disappointment at not being able to experience the pinnacle of motorsport race through the streets of Baku this June. To that end, we will continue to work closely with F1, the FIA and Azerbaijan government to monitor the situation with a view to announcing a new race date later in the 2020 season.”

F2 has supported F1 on the street circuit since 2016, while FIA Formula 3 Championship and its predecessor GP3 have always skipped the visit to Azerbaijan. The postponement of Baku now brings F2 in line with F3 in beginning its season at the Red Bull Ring.