Formula 1 has confirmed that the 2020 Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix races have been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This comes after the opening eight races of a revised calendar for the 2020 season was announced, starting with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in the first weekend of July.

“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,” read an official statement.

“These decisions have been taken due to the different challenges our promoters face in those countries. In Singapore and Azerbaijan, the long lead times required to construct street circuits made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible and in Japan, ongoing travel restrictions also led to the decision not to proceed with the race,” it continued.

With the cancellations, the motorsport is looking to increase the number of races within Europe, with possible back-to-back events or new venues as part of an expanded and revised race calendar.

“There is a contingency to have an extended European season with another one or two races if needed. I think Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be the backstop of the season from what we can see at the moment. That gives us 10. We’ll find at least five or six good races in the middle,” said Formula 1 managing director of motorsports and technical director Ross Brawn.

“There are a number of good European tracks where we could add another one or two races on to make sure we have a comprehensive season. We’re not going to declare it yet, as it’s still a work in progress,” he added. Other European tracks are currently being evaluated, with the likes of Ferrari-owned Mugello, Imola, Portimao, and Hockenheim all understood to be under consideration.