The Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix which was scheduled to be held in Shanghai on April 19 is most likely to be postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
With the death toll from the Coronavirus having reached over 1,100 people worldwide and the number of confirmed infections rising above 40,000, Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey said that there was a “significant chance” the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai would have to be postponed.
In an interview with Sky Sports News he went on to add:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everybody affected in China and we recognise the importance of this,”
“We recognise this certainly creates uncertainty about the ability to host an event in China.”
“We’ll wait for further guidance from there but we certainly recognise there’s a significant chance, if not likelihood, the event will be postponed.”
“The hope is that people will have a better handle on this pretty quickly,”
“It emerged quite quickly, the cases outside China, really the district in China, are still limited in number.”
“We’re very aware of it and we will continue to monitor it and deal accordingly. Obviously safety for our fans and our teams, everybody in the sport, is first and foremost.”
“So we’ll be thoughtful and thorough and we are continuing to monitor and engage with the appropriate authorities and appropriate experts.”
With the disease still spreading rampantly across the world, the F1 boss was unable to give a clear timeframe as to when the race would be rescheduled to but played down rumors that other races in countries where the disease as spread to would also be affected.
“Part of the challenge is that you don’t really know the time-frame, so it’s difficult to say what time works,” he told reporters.
“Clearly we have a busy calendar so it’s not easy to reschedule this late when we’re only a month away from our first race.”
“China’s a very important partner. We’ve been excited by the growth in that partnership.
“But again we recognise what is first and foremost important. We’ll work with our Chinese partners to try and see, when we know more, what options might exist.”
This will mark the first time since the Arab Spring uprisings in Bahrain in 2011 that a Formula 1 Grand Prix race has had to be postponed.