Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

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 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."

More than 40,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with over 1,000 deaths being recorded in China to this point. The FIA said that they were "closely monitoring the evolving situation".

"We recognize that the postponement of the event is certainly a possibility," Formula 1 Group chief executive Chase Carey told Reuters.

"You could probably go even further and say a likelihood just given what seems to be transpiring."

The race is scheduled to take place in Shanghai, just 500 miles from Wuhan - the initial source of the outbreak.

The first-ever Vietnamese Grand Prix, set for April 5, is also understood to be in danger of being canceled.

The scheduled race in Hanoi is just 100 miles from the Chinese border, with the latest figures suggesting that 15 people have been diagnosed with the illness in the region.

Formula 1 sporting director Ross Brawn admitted that the race is in danger, but said that efforts would be made to reschedule it before the end of the season, though doing so in an already packed F1 calendar may prove impossible. In the event of the race's permanent cancellation, the promoter of the event would lose their race fee.

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