The 2023 Chinese Grand Prix remains under a cloud as the country maintains a zero-tolerance stance on coronavirus.
China last hosted a round of the world championship in 2019, with the following year's event cancelled as the pandemic took hold globally.
To this day, lockdowns remain commonplace along with mass testing requirements — policies that have received heavy criticism internationally.
However, the nation looks set to remain steadfast to that policy.
“Practice has proved that our pandemic prevention and control policy and a series of strategic measures are completely correct, and the most economical and effective,” said Hu Xiang, a disease control official.
“We should adhere to the principle of putting people and lives first, and the broader strategy of preventing imports from outside and internal rebounds.”
Some experts have warned another wave of the virus could affect the nation heading into winter, which will probably bring with it another round of government-imposed restrictions.
Internationally, restrictions as a result of coronavirus have been rolled back.
Formula 1 operated a bubble system through 2020 and 2021 but has since eased those restrictions.
Indeed, at the Mexico City Grand Prix two weeks ago there were comments made by drivers suggesting the paddock had become too open.
China is scheduled to host the fourth round of the 2023 season, coming two weeks after the Australian Grand Prix and a fortnight prior to the Azerbaijan race.
Guanyu Zhou this season became the sport's first Chinese driver, while the size of the economy (second largest behind the United States) makes it an appealing market to tap in to.
Should it be cancelled and not replaced, it would leave the better part of a month gap between events early in the season.