F1 chiefs set to postpone Chinese Grand Prix over coronavirus outbreak

F1 chiefs set to postpone Chinese Grand Prix over coronavirus outbreak

Formula One chiefs are poised to announce the postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the PA news agency understands.

Confirmation is expected this week, and could come as early as Wednesday, after it was decided that the race, scheduled to take place on April 19, can no longer go ahead as planned.

The coronavirus has claimed more than 1,000 lives in China.

Coronavirus: confirmed cases (PA Graphics)
Coronavirus: confirmed cases (PA Graphics)

F1’s hierarchy have looked at plans to reschedule the race for later in the season.

But with a record-breaking 22 grands prix – including the round in Shanghai – already on the calendar, switching the race to another date will be difficult.

Speaking last week, F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn said: “China is an enthusiastic, growing market, so we’d like to have a race there.

Ross Brawn, F1’s motorsport boss, is hopeful a date can be found late in the year for a rescheduled Chinese Grand Prix (David Davies/PA Images).
Ross Brawn, F1’s motorsport boss, is hopeful a date can be found late in the year for a rescheduled Chinese Grand Prix (David Davies/PA Images).

“We will just try to find a window of when the race could happen towards the end of the year.”

The inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix is due to take place on April 5. Hanoi is located on the Chinese border and there is growing concern among the travelling F1 circus that the race might also have to be postponed.

But the sport’s chiefs are determined that the third round of the season will go ahead as scheduled.

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