F1 considering alternate dates for the Chinese Grand Prix
The fate of the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix is still hanging in the balance with a postponement looking likely, but Formula One bosses are hopeful that an alternate date can be set to hold the race.
An outbreak of the Coronaviris has seen sporting and public events cancelled across China until the end of March, leading to the cancellation of the ABB Formula E Sanya ePrix among other events.
On Wednesday, the Shanghai Sporting Federation released a statement urging for the cancellation of all such events until the outbreak had been contained.
With Formula One due to be heading to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, the first on track activity due on Friday April 17, it looks increasingly likely that the race will be, at the very least, postponed.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Formula One managing director of motorsports and technical director Ross Brawn, said that a switch with another race is the least likely option, and it would be more likely that the sport will, "just try to find a window of when the race could happen towards the end of the year."
Realistically, the options available to the sport for a shuffling of the calendar are extremely limited. One option would be to add the Chinese Grand Prix on to the end of the year.
As with 2019, this would mean racing into December and, with the post-season testing already lined up to follow the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this is the least likely option.
If swapping places with another race is out of the question, the only remaining suitable gaps in the calendar come either side of the Japanese Grand Prix. This would mean a repeat of the triple header from 2018, only this time it would be three flyaway race - a combination of Russia, China and Japan, or Japan China and the USA.
Outlining why a decision would need to be made quickly, on any postponement, Brawn added, "There's two logistical deadlines. One is when all the sea freight goes which is this week, or next week. So the things like fuel and so on go on a ship. But that's not disastrous if that shifts and has to be brought back.
"Then we get into the physically putting people over there. That's a big challenge with people going there to prepare for the race. That's a critical stage. And that will happen in two or three weeks time. I think that's the point at which really you have to say what the situation is."
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