F1 chiefs still hope to hold the Vietnamese Grand Prix in April.
F1 chiefs believe the Vietnamese Grand Prix will still take place despite the coronavirus. The Chinese Grand Prix was axed today with fears over the coronavirus playing havoc with sport in Asia.
But, according to the Times, F1 honchos remain hopeful the Grand Prix in Hanoi will go ahead as planned.
The Vietnamese Grand Prix is due to take place on April 5, with the Chinese race originally booked for two weeks after on April 19.
And despite Vietnam and China sharing a border the feeling is the race will go ahead as planned.
F1 are already scrambling to find another date for the Chinese race, in an already packed schedule, so having to relocate or reorganise two races would be a nightmare.
The F1 season starts on March 15 in Australia before moving to Bahrain the week after.
Formula One released a statement on the Chinese race today.
The 2020 #ChineseGP will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
F1 and the FIA have accepted a request from the promoter to postpone the event
We will continue to monitor the situation and assess potential alternative dateshttps://t.co/0VImeMSxlV
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 12, 2020
“The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible,” Formula 1 said in a statement.
“We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.”
However there remains some hope of reorganising the Chinese race at a later date.
“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 statement read.
The FIA today explained the reasoning behind the postponement.
“In view of the continued spread of novel coronavirus and after ongoing discussions with the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People’s Republic of China (CAMF) and Shanghai Administration of Sports, the Chinese Grand Prix Promoter, Juss Sports Group, has officially requested that the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix be postponed,” their statement read.
“The FIA, together with the Formula 1, have jointly decided to accept this official request from the promoter and postpone the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for 19 April.
“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.
“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.”