After announcing the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix on Thursday due to the growing Covid-19 coronavirus situation, the FIA and organizers of the Formula One World Championship on Friday said more races will be postponed.
April’s Chinese Grand Prix was already announced in February to be postponed and on Friday it was announced that the Bahrain and Vietnamese Grands Prix, scheduled for March and April, respectively, will also be postponed.
Depending on the situation, other races are also likely to be postponed as organizers are now looking to start the 2020 F1 season in late May, at a European location. However, the organizers acknowledge that the growing number of coronavirus cases in Europe needs to be monitored and that the calendar could change again.
“We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organisation and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motorsport community,” said Jean Todt, president of the FIA.
It’s not just F1 that is affected. Officials for the Formula E Championship have also decided to suspend the current season for at least the next two months.
Last week’s Geneva International Motor Show was also cancelled due to the coronavirus, and auto shows scheduled for Beijing and New York in April have been postponed. Some automakers have also experienced production disruptions due to difficulties in sourcing parts, employees testing positive for the virus, and in some cases whole cities and provinces being locked down.