The Monaco Grand Prix has been pulled from Formula One’s coronavirus-hit schedule in another blow to the sport’s bosses.
The prestigious race has been ever-present on the calendar since 1955, but after its original date of 24 May was scrubbed off, race organisers confirmed their event would play no part in a rejigged calendar.
Their cancellation came just hours after it was confirmed that Prince Albert of Monaco had tested positive for the deadly virus.
In a statement, the Automobile Club of Monaco said:
“The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the world championship, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams… the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1 500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable.”
The news that one of world sport’s grandest events will not feature at all in 2020 encapsulated another dramatic and sobering afternoon for F1’s owners Liberty Media, who had been hopeful of finding a new date for the Monte Carlo race.
Seven of the sport’s opening 22 grands prix have now been called off – meaning the earliest the season can start is in Azerbaijan on 7 June. But whether that is actually feasible is up for debate given the fast-moving nature of the coronavirus pandemic.