2020 Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

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The 2020 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place as planned on April 17-19 following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Juss Sports Group, the promoter of the event, has officially requested its postponement. The press release from Formula 1 reads:

“As a result of continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, Formula 1 and the FIA 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. […] 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 always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible. We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets purchased through Official Sales Agents (including Gootickets, F1 Tickets) will be eligible for a full refund.

Coronavirus broke out in the Wuhan district of China, around 800km west of the Shanghai International Circuit. There have been over 40,000 confirmed cases so far globally and 1,100 deaths, with those numbers rapidly growing.

The decision to postpone the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix follows Shanghai’s Sports Federation advising the suspension of all sporting events until the end of the coronavirus outbreak. The World Athletics Indoor Championships and Formula E’s Sanya E-Prix are among other high-profile sporting events to have been cancelled.

Opportunities to re-schedule the race are sparse due to the demanding nature of the calendar. It is reported that plans to re-schedule the Chinese Grand Prix either during the summer break or between the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, thus creating a triple-header of events, have been rejected by teams. One current suggestion is that the Shanghai race could be re-scheduled in November and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be moved back to December in order accommodate the change.

The cancellation means that there will be a four week gap between the Vietnam Grand Prix and the Dutch Grand Prix. It will be the first time since 1999 that only one Formula 1 race has been held in April. In addition to the Chinese Grand Prix, organisers of the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix say that they are “actively monitoring” the situation. Vietnam shares a border with China.

It is the first time that a race which has appeared on the final calendar has been cancelled since the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix. Political unrest led to the cancellation of the Sakhir race, which was then re-scheduled for later in the season before ultimately being dropped altogether.

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About the Author ()

Nicky Haldenby is a Formula One writer from Scarborough, England. Having grown up with F1 often on the TV on Sunday afternoons, Nicky has been following the sport avidly since 2006. After graduating from University in 2015 with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature, he founded his own F1 website and now regularly writes articles about both the sport's history and current affairs.

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