Magnussen and FIA cautious of Vietnam Grand Prix postponement
The FIA have said that they are monitoring the situation in Vietnam as an area of 10,000 people has been placed under quarantine just 27-miles from the city due to host the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, Hanoi.
Following the FIA announcement on Wednesday that the Chinese Grand Prix would be postponed, all attention has turned to the Vietnam Grand Prix. The third race on the calendar, slated for April 5, the race was scheduled to directly precede the Chinese Grand Prix.
In their statement, the FIA said, "The global situation regarding this virus will continue to be monitored by the FIA with regard to other motor sport events."
On Thursday morning, the Vietnamese health ministry issued a statement of their own, not relating to the Grand Prix, but announcing a quarantined area in a commune less the 30-miles from capital city Hanoi.
"As of February 13, 2020, we will urgently implement the task of isolation and quarantine of the epidemic area in Son Loi commune," read the health ministry statement. "The timeline is for 20 days".
As of Tuesday, there were only 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus but a shared northern border with China has led to obvious questions being asked about the health risk of travelling to the country at this time.
The official UK government travel advice to Vietnam currently reads, "There is an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus. The virus originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province but cases have been confirmed in other parts of China and elsewhere, including a low number in Vietnam.
"The Vietnamese authorities are implementing steps to mitigate the risks of infection, including health screening at airports and land borders. People showing signs of respiratory illness on arrival in Vietnam can expect to be checked. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the local authorities. Anyone confirmed as having Coronavirus, including foreigners, can expect to be quarantined."
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was also questioned about the Grand Prix and whether it would go ahead when talking with Danish broadcaster TV2.
“We’ll have to see,” answered Magnussen. “Vietnam is right before China [on the calendar], so we’ll have to keep an eye on that too. It’s a pity, but it does mean a mini-holiday for us,”
It already appears to be an extremely difficult task to find an alternate slot in the calendar for the Chinese Grand Prix, GPFans having identified two potential options, but if both races were fitted into these slots then Formula One could see an unprecedented five race weekends in a row - Russia, Japan and the United States being the other the races already in those positions.
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