The outbreak of the coronavirus has brought with it a great number of disruptions, the latest, the postponement of Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix on Wednesday.
This comes after the Chinese Super League postponed the 2020 football season in the country, while a number of other global sporting events have been put on hold. The race was originally set to be held in Shanghai on April 19, but the governing body for auto racing events, the FIA and Formula One said they had jointly decided to postpone it, a statement read.
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 One have taken these measures.
“The FIA and Formula One continue to work closely with the teams, race promoters, 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 statement continued.
Reports have emerged that the flu-like virus has killed more than 1 100 people and infected a further 44 000 in China after it first emerged towards the end of last year. The Chinese GP, after debuting in 2004, has become an important event for Formula One, with the sport keen to tap into the opportunity presented by the country’s vast population and growing middle class.
Reports claim that a cancellation could mean a financial hit for the sport’s US owners, Liberty Media. Should a rescheduling of the race not be possible, its cancellation will pare the calendar back to 21 races from the record 22 Formula One was set for this year.