Citing fears over the country’s coronavirus crisis, the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai was postponed.
The race was scheduled for April 19 as part of a robust 22-event season, the largest in F1 history.
Promoter Juss Sports Group formally requested the race’s postponement, which was accepted by F1. It is the first race canceled since 2011 when the Bahrain Grand Prix was called off over civil unrest.
The 2020 #ChineseGP will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
F1 and the FIA have accepted a request from the promoter to postpone the event
We will continue to monitor the situation and assess potential alternative dateshttps://t.co/0VImeMSxlV
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 12, 2020
“The reality of today, in most other countries [away from China], the number of people affected is a handful,” F1 CEO Chase Carey said on Wednesday. “But we don’t know what it will be in a week or two.”
Formula One said in an extended statement the possibility of rescheduling is being investigated, but the schedule will limit those options. The circuit will also consider postponing the Vietnam Grand Prix in Hanoi on April 5. Vietnam and China share a border.
“Amid continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, Formula 1, together with governing body the FIA, jointly decided to accept the postponement request in order to ensure the health and safety of the traveling staff, championship participants and fans.
“Formula 1 and the FIA will continue to work closely with the teams, race promoter, CAMF and the local authorities to monitor the situation as it develops, with all parties studying the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)