Bahrain, Vietnam GPs called off over coronavirus outbreak

The Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix have been postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Formula 1 announced on Friday.

Listen to this article

Following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, F1 confirmed the second and third rounds of the 2020 campaign will be called off.

No new dates have been announced for the races, and F1 said it will "monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each grand prix later in the year should the situation improve".

"The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and its right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions," said F1 CEO Chase Carey.

"We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans."

The cancellation of the first three races means the season would, in theory, start with the Dutch Grand Prix in early May, but F1 admitted that "given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed."

As revealed by Motorsport.com earlier on Friday, however, F1 could be looking at kicking off the season in Azerbaijan in June.

"Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Automobile Association of Vietnam, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix was the only possible decision given all of the information currently available to us," said FIA president Jean Todt.

"We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motor sport community."

Read Also:

Vietnam was slated to host its first ever F1 race in Hanoi on the April 3-5 weekend.

The Bahrain GP, originally scheduled for March 22, had announced earlier this month that it would take place without spectators.

"We have been in continuous discussions with F1 and the FIA in recent weeks, as the situation with regards to COVID-19 has evolved globally," Bahrain circuit boss Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalif said.

"The mutually agreed decision to postpone the race is the right thing to do, given recent developments and the overwhelming priority to protect the health of all concerned.

"We will be working closely with our partners at F1 and the FIA on monitoring the global situation and hope to be able to welcome the return of F1 later this year, once it is right to do so."

It was also announced that the opening rounds of the Formula 2 and Formula 3 seasons, due to take place at Bahrain on the same weekend, have been postponed.

The Chinese Grand Prix had been already called off a month ago as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

shares
comments
Carey says F1 "made the right decisions" over Australian GP
Previous article

Carey says F1 "made the right decisions" over Australian GP

Next article

How F1 can slot lost races back into the calendar

How F1 can slot lost races back into the calendar
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022