F1 has confirmed the Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japanese Grands Prix won’t feature on the revised 2020 F1 World Championship calendar, causing another blow to plans to ensure 15-18 races take place this year.

As it stands, only eight rounds of the disrupted schedule have been confirmed, starting with the Red Bull Ring on July 5, with bosses hopeful that it could re-arrange some of the overseas rounds during the Autumn stretch before a likely conclusion in the Middle East for December.

However, it has now confirmed that Azerbaijan and Singapore won’t go ahead because it couldn’t guarantee they’d get the lead time necessary to prepare their street circuit, while travel restrictions in Japan have forced the cancellation of the Suzuka race.

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“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,” said F1 chief Chase Carey.

"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.

“At the same time we have 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 Formula 1 race during the 2020 season.

"We appreciate this is still a time of uncertainty and complexity around the world and will continue to ensure we proceed with the 2020 season in a cautious and flexible way. We have detailed and robust safety plans in place to ensure we begin our season in the safest possible way."

Singapore’s cancellation was always expected due to a lack of flexibility to hold the race on any other date than the one it was originally scheduled for (20 September), while Japan was anticipated for the axe after MotoGP cancelled its race set for around the same time over because of strict entry restrictions last month.

However, bosses had been more confident of re-arranging Azerbaijan, originally set for 7 June, prior to this announcement.

It means seven races have been officially cancelled for 2020, while Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Canada, Russia, USA, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi officially listed as postponed.

Of these, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are expected to still feature at the end of the year, but ongoing difficulties in arranging overseas travel means F1 is getting closer to reverting to its back-up of keeping the revised schedule largely European-based with races at new venues such as Portimao, Imola, the Hockenheimring and Mugello.