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Chinese GP postponed due to coronavirus

Chinese GP postponed due to coronavirus
By Reuters

12/02/2020 at 12:19Updated 12/02/2020 at 13:19

The Chinese Grand Prix will be postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Formula One said on Wednesday.

The flu-like virus has killed over 1,100 people and infected more than 44,000 in China after it first emerged in Wuhan late last year.

The race was initially due to be held on April 19 but has now been postponed with Formula 1 due to assess alternative dates.

"The 2020 Chinese Grand Prix, which had been scheduled for April 17-19, has been postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak," a FIA statement read.

"The Chinese Grand Prix Promoter, Juss Sports Group, officially requested the postponement after ongoing discussions with the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People's Republic of China (CAMF) and Shanghai Administration of Sports.

"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 travelling 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.

"The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible," Formula 1 added.

"We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time."

The flu-like virus has killed over 1,100 people and infected more than 44,000 in China after it first emerged in Wuhan late last year.

Motor racing's governing body, the FIA, has said it was closely monitoring the situation in China, with the race at the Shanghai International Circuit slotted in as the fourth round of the 2020 season.

Chinese Grand Prix, general view

Chinese Grand Prix, general viewGetty Images

Media reports in Europe and the United States said the race would be postponed later on Wednesday.

With a record 22 races scheduled for the 2020 season it would be difficult to slot a race in China back in at a later date.

The absence of the Chinese event would leave a four-week gap between the Vietnamese Grand Prix on April 5 and the Dutch Grand Prix on May 3.

A host of international sporting events have been cancelled due to coronavirus, including the all-electric Formula E motor racing series that abandoned plans for a race in the Chinese city of Sanya next month.