The Canadian Grand Prix has been postponed as the coronavirus continues to impact the Formula One calendar.
Montreal was due to host the first race of the disrupted 2020 schedule on 14th June, but Covid-19 has seen the event postponed.
A statement from the Canadian race promoters on the official Formula One website read: 'We would have been honoured to host the first race on the 2020 Formula One World Championship calendar, but we are saddened to have to announce the postponement of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix 2020.
'This postponement was not a decision that was taken lightly or easily. Over the past month, we have been in constant communication with Formula One and representatives from the city of Montreal, Tourism Montreal and both provincial and federal governments.
'We have heard the directives issued by public health officials and as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic are following the expert guidance provided by the authorities.'
Organisers have informed ticket holders that they remain valid, with the available options to be made clear when the new date for the race is confirmed.
Formula One Canadian Grand Prix president and chief executive Francois Dumontier said: “I am proud to see how such wonderful initiatives and technical advancements stemming from Formula One are being applied in a time of crisis.
“At the moment it is crucial that all of our energies be put together to overcome Covid-19. We will welcome you with open arms at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of Formula One, added: “We have been working closely with our friends at the Canadian Grand Prix over the past few weeks and support them in taking this necessary decision to ensure the safety of fans and the F1 community.
“We always look forward to travelling to the incredible city of Montreal and while we will all have to wait a bit longer, we will put on a great show when we arrive later this year.”
The Canadian Grand Prix is the sixth Formula One race to be postponed and the ninth in total to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The series is still hopeful of staging 'between 15-18 races' in 2020, Carey recently said in a statement.
News of the latest postponement came as it emerged that Formula One has placed almost half of its staff on the UK government's furlough scheme until the end of May, with Carey and other senior management staff also taking a pay cut while remaining at work.
According to Reuters, those on furlough are predominantly employees whose work is focused on race weekend activities and who cannot fulfil their roles working remotely. Formula One employs approximately 400 staff in the UK, the Guardian noted.