This year’s running of the Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed at the request of the event’s promoter amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Formula 1 and the sport’s governing body, the FIA, confirmed the decision after monitoring the situation closely, with the disease declared a “global health emergency” by the World Health Organisation.
China, which has been on the F1 calendar since 2004, was due to host the fourth round of the 2020 world championship on April 19.
But in a statement issued on Wednesday, the FIA said: “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.
“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.”
Despite the decision to postpone the Shanghai race, F1 and the FIA said it would analyse possible alternative dates for the event to take place later in the season.
It is understood running the grand prix during the first week of the four-week summer break or following the scheduled season finale in Abu Dhabi in December was put forward but was rejected by teams.
“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.”