Staging a Formula 1 race in France this year became “impossible” because of the coronavirus-related restrictions in the country, says French Grand Prix managing director Eric Boullier.

French government announced earlier this month that it would be extending its existing lockdown measures until May 11 in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In the address, president Emmanuel Macron said that a ban on mass public gatherings would remain in place until mid-July, which put hopes of holding the French Grand Prix on its initial slot of June 28 into jeopardy.

On Monday the French Grand Prix joined the Monaco Grand Prix in becoming the second race to be cancelled altogether, and the 10th round in total to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Given the developments related to the spread of the virus Covid-19, the Grand Prix de France takes note of the decisions announced by the State making impossible to maintain our event,” Boullier explained.

“The looks of GIP Grand Prix of France - Le Castellet already turning to summer 2021 in order to offer our viewers an even more unprecedented event in the heart of the Southern Region.”

Despite the blow of the French Grand Prix being called off, F1 is pressing ahead with plans to start the season in Austria in July.

F1 CEO Chase Carey expressed his disappointment of the cancellation of the race but backed the decision taken.

He said: “We have been in close contact with the French developer during the development of the situation and, although it is disappointing to our fans and community that F1 the Grand Prix of France does not take place, we fully support the decision taken by the French authorities and hope to be back soon at Paul Ricard.”

 

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