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F1 not replacing canceled Chinese GP; 23 races 2023

F1 not replacing canceled Chinese GP; 23 races in 2023

FILE - Drivers prepare for the start of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China on April 14, 2019. Formula One has confirmed it will not replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix. The decision leaves the 2023 season at 23 races. That is still a record for an F1 season. The race in Shanghai was canceled for the fourth year running in December. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

FILE - Drivers prepare for the start of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China on April 14, 2019. Formula One has confirmed it will not replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix. The decision leaves the 2023 season at 23 races. That is still a record for an F1 season. The race in Shanghai was canceled for the fourth year running in December. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

LONDON (AP) Formula One confirmed Tuesday that it will not replace the canceled Chinese Grand Prix, leaving the 2023 season at what is still a record 23 races.

The race in Shanghai was canceled for the fourth straight year in December, when China had some of the toughest pandemic-related restrictions of any country. Those rules have since been relaxed and cases of COVID-19 in China have surged.

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

Countries such as Turkey and Portugal have stepped in as replacement F1 hosts when the last three seasons were affected by the pandemic. A replacement race on the Chinese GPs April 16 date between Australia and Azerbaijan on the schedule could have made it difficult for teams to change their travel and transportation plans at relatively short notice.

There will now be a four-week break between the Australian GP on April 2 and the Azerbaijan GP on April 30.

The decision to leave the Chinese slot empty means the season will have 23 races, one more than last year. Compared to 2022, races in Qatar and Las Vegas were added to the calendar and the French Grand Prix was cut.