The all-female W Series season has been cancelled for 2020, with the focus now on creating a “bigger and better” 2021.
The category was launched last year with inaugural winner Jamie Chadwick now part of the Williams team as a development driver.
It also now awards points towards an F1 superlicence, a feature that was set to come in for the first time as part of the 2020 season, but all focus has now been switched to 2021.
The season was due to start last weekend in St Petersburg.
In a statement, W Series chief executive Catherine Bond Muir said: “Our decision not to stage on-track races until 2021 is not one that has been taken lightly.
“Delivering an international calendar of the kind that W Series requires, so as to take W Series’ diversity and inclusion message to girls and women globally, while prioritising during a global pandemic the health and safety of our drivers, staff and the many other people who make W Series events such a success, requires resource at a level beyond the scope of a brave new start-up.
“Now that we have taken the very difficult but ultimately unavoidable decision, we will focus our energies clearly on 2021 when we will resume bigger and better than ever before.
“We are already working on an exciting new W Series race calendar for 2021, and we are delighted to be able to confirm that W Series races will feature on the support cards of a number of F1 Grands Prix next year, including the 2021 United States Grand Prix and the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix.”
Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn added: “W Series has had an incredible impact on the world of motorsport, and we were excited to have them join our schedule this year.
“It is a big disappointment for all of us that due to the difficulties presented by COVID-19 the events will not take place, but we are looking forward to some exciting racing in 2021 when W Series returns.”