Postponed: the Chinese Grand Prix falls victim to the coronavirus
Formula One and the FIA have made a joint decision to accept a request from Chinese Grand Prix promoters, Juss Sports Group, postpone the Chinese Grand Prix in the wake of the nobel coronavirus outbreak.
The FIA confirmed on Wednesday the news that the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix would not be taking place on it's scheduled April 19 slot. The outbreak, which has led to sporting events such as the World Indoor Athletics championships and the Formula E Sanya ePrix cancelled or postponed already, has claimed the lives of over 1,000 people.
Wuhan, the city where the first cases of the coronavirus were reported, is less than 500-miles from Shanghai and, with the Shanghai Administration of Sports requesting that all sporting events be postponed until the outbreak is under control, Formula One has accepted the request.
"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,"read the FIA statement.
"The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with the teams, race promoter, CAMF and the local authorities to monitor the situation as it develops. 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.
"The Chinese Grand Prix has long been an important part of the F1 calendar with many passionate fans. The FIA F1 community looks forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wishes everyone in the country the best during this difficult time."
Previous reports had suggested that a switch of dates with the Russian Grand Prix, scheduled to take place in September, may have been considered but Russian officials dismissed the idea with the restructuring needed to host a Grand Prix at such short notice being impractical.
The FIA and Formula One will be looking at potential dates to fit the Chinese Grand Prix back into the calendar, should the situation in the country have improved, but these opportunities appears few and far between with the 'European leg' of the season being tightly compacted, and later dates resulting in a triple header - the second time this would have happened in the history of the championship.
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