F1 and the FIA are closely monitoring the situation and may well decide to cancel or postpone the Chinese and Vietnamese Grand Prix, in order to avoid putting Formula One staff at risk.
At the moment, no official decision has yet been taken regarding the Chinese Grand Prix, which is supposed to be held on the weekend of April 19 in Shanghai, and the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix is scheduled for the weekend of April 5 in Hanoi, two weeks before the Chinese Grand Prix.
Already more than 350 people have died worldwide due to this epidemic and this Sunday Formula E did not want to take any risks and decided to cancel and postpone the Sanya e-Prix which was due to take place in March in China.
Formula E confirmed this Sunday in a press release saying:
“In view of the spread of the coronavirus and after close consultation with the relevant departments of Hainan Province and the Sanya Municipal Government, Formula E – together with the FIA and the Chinese Motor Sports Federation, as well as the regional authorities – have jointly decided not to race in Sanya on the scheduled date of 21 March 2020. ”
Leaked picture of the Spark SRT05e Gen2EVO
The promoters of the Vietnam Grand Prix are actively monitoring the potential threat of coronavirus to their race. This year, the Vietnam Grand Prix is making its debut on the Formula 1 calendar with a race at the Hanoi City Circuit.
“We are actively monitoring the situation as it evolves. For the time being, we do not anticipate any significant impact on our April event. We are actively monitoring the situation as it evolves and at this stage we do not anticipate any significant impact on our April event,” the Vietnamese Grand Prix organisers told RaceFans.
Certainly, the coronavirus is bringing China to its knees, with unprecedented state action in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease. In fact, China is thinking of an exchange of dates with Russia according to Speedweek in Austria.
The Russian Federation has stressed that it has not yet received an official request from the Chinese government, but is anticpating the request. The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi is scheduled for Sunday 27th September, around the date of which China would hope the crisis would be over, making a swap of Grand Prix dates favourable.
This change would also benefit the teams from a logistical point of view, because the Chinese Grand Prix would be inserted between Singapore and Japan, both geographically close to China.
If this exchange would be successful, after the Vietnam Grand Prix F1 could then head to Europe with a stopover in Sochi before starting the European season with the new Zandvoort – that is, if the Vietnam GP actually goes ahead.