The Chinese Grand Prix, which was due to return for the first time since 2019 as the fourth round of a record 24-race season, was cancelled by F1 in December because of “ongoing difficulties” with COVID-19. 

China went on to announce an easing of their strict COVID-19 restriction policies at the end of the year, a decision which led to fresh talks between organisers of the Shanghai race and F1 to see if it was feasible for the event to return. 

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But on Tuesday F1 announced the Chinese Grand Prix would not come back this season. 

Portugal had been mooted as a potential replacement for China on the F1 2023 calendar, however, F1 have now confirmed the April 16 slot will not be filled.

China’s cancellation leaves a four-week gap in the calendar between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30. 

It had been suggested that Azerbaijan could be brought forward to reduce the gap, but all other race dates will remain the same. 

In a brief statement, F1 said: "Formula 1 can confirm the 2023 season will consist of 23 races. All existing race dates on the calendar remain unchanged."

A 23-race season will still be the longest-ever in F1 history, with a return to Qatar and the addition of a debut Saturday night race in Las Vegas ensuring there will be one extra race compared to 2022.