Coronavirus leaves Chinese GP in doubt

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This who have concerns over an ever-expanding race calendar in Formula 1 may have just had a bit of respite with the Chinese government announcing that they are recommending all sporting events be canceled until the Coronavirus can be contained.

With Formula E already canceling its race and other major sporting events following suit, Formula 1 is waiting on a decision from race promoters and the FIA on the matter. As Jonathan Noble over at Autosport points out, F1’s Ross Brawn says the sport is looking for an alternative date should it be canceled in April.

“I think, if there is a probability it doesn’t happen in April, it will be postponed,” said Brawn in an interview with selected media including Autosport.

“We will leave open the opportunity to see if the race can run later in the year.

“China is an enthusiastic, growing market. So we’d like to have a race in China.”

Moving a race is no easy task and with a loaded calendar, finding a date for replacement is very difficult. As Noble points out very well, to jam the make-up race into the current schedule would be to create a run of four or five races in a row.

Asked if the series could add the race onto the end of the calendar in December, bran said:

“It looks very difficult,” he said.

“We’re waiting for the Chinese promoter and authorities to make the final decision, which I think they will.

“They have cancelled all the public events in March. So no public sporting events or activities.

“It is a tragic and very difficult situation. I think it’ll become clear in the next week or two what’s going to happen.”

Ultimately, as we mentioned on Monday’s podcast, teams are already beginning the logistics and travel for the race so the decision needs to be made soon and at this point, I would guess that there will be no Chinese Grand Prix in 2020.

“There’s two logistical deadlines,” he said.

“One is when all the sea freight goes which is this week, or next week. So the things like fuel and so on go on a ship.

“But that’s not disastrous if that shifts and has to be brought back.

“Then we get into physically putting people over there.

“That’s a big challenge with people going there to prepare for the race. That’s a critical stage.

“And that will happen in two or three weeks time. I think that’s the point at which really you have to say what the situation is.”

Hat Tip: Autosport

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