The China leg of electric-car racing competition Formula E, scheduled for March 2020, will be delayed until further notice, the motor-sports group says.
As the electric-car racing series enters its seventh year, organizers face serious challenges posed by the continuing virus pandemic that has killed more than a million people worldwide.
Formula E has said it was "working with local authorities to monitor the situation" and as in China, planned races in Mexico City had also been disrupted. Replacement venues will be announced later.
"The health and safety of our staff and the entire Formula E community of teams...as well as the citizens and residents of the cities in which we race is the priority," the organizers said in a statement announcing the calendar update this week.
China electric car manufacturer Nio's racing team was not put off by news of the delay. "We are off to Santiago and Diriyah!" a representative said.
Sanya Resort in Hainan province last held a Formula E event in 2019. Races were scheduled at the resort earlier this year, but as the pandemic worsened in China, the motor sports association decided to delay.
"We have decided to temporarily suspend the season and move forward with introducing measures to freeze races from taking place over the next two months," Formula E co-founder and chairperson Alejandro Agag said at the time.
The 2020 racing season concluded in early March after just six races in Berlin. Five months later, the Formula E chairperson tested positive for COVID before making a full recovery.
Chilean capital city Santiago will host two days of racing behind closed doors in mid-January to kick off the 2021 season. The competition will then head to Saudi Arabia the following month with spectators likely to be allowed on-site to watch.