Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus

Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus”

"The FIA and F1 continue to work closely with the teams, promoter, CAMF and local authorities to monitor the situation".

The F1 Grand Prix in China looks set to be indefinitely postponed after FIA chiefs are to meet to discuss the postponement of the April event in what could be the beginning of a torrent of sporting cancellations in the region.

"As a result of continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, the FIA and Formula 1 have taken these measures in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains of primary concern".

More than 1,100 people have been killed in China by the virus, which has been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. "All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve".

Several British media outlets ran unsourced reports on Wednesday saying the Shanghai race, the fourth of the new season, will be either postponed or cancelled.

The sport's Chief Executive Chase Carey said fitting the race back into an already packed calendar with few spare weekends would pose a challenge.

The last time a race was postponed was 2011, when the Bahrain Grand Prix was affected by the Arab Spring uprisings.

A congested race calendar from the middle of the season onwards means F1 is unlikely to find a suitable date which avoids a triple header.

It is unclear when the Grand Prix will eventually be held, but for now, there will be a one-month break between the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix.

An official announcement is expected on Wednesday.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, speaking in London on Monday, said not going to Shanghai would be a "shame".

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