F1 to discuss coronavirus threat to Chinese GP

Formula 1 teams are set to discuss the situation surrounding the Chinese Grand Prix at a meeting of the Strategy Group on Wednesday, as speculation mounts that the event will have to be postponed or called off.

F1 to discuss coronavirus threat to Chinese GP

The outbreak of the coronavirus in China, which has been classified as a world health emergency by the World Health Organisation, has already prompted a number of sporting events in the country to be cancelled. The FIA Formula E race scheduled in Sanya for March 21 has officially been postponed.

Although F1 chiefs and the FIA are currently monitoring the situation, the escalating problems in China suggests that there will be no swift end to the outbreak  – which has cast doubt on the viability of the Shanghai round on April 19, which is now under 60 days away.

Speaking at a media event in London on Monday, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said teams had to trust the FIA and F1’s decision on the matter – with talks set for Wednesday. Asked by Motorsport.com if he was comfortable sending his staff to China, Horner said: “At the moment we couldn't send anyone because they couldn't get there.

“Look, the FIA is the regulator, the Liberty is promoter. They are responsible for the health and wellbeing of not just the drivers in F1, but all the staff, and all of the travelling members of the media. And I'm sure they'll take the necessary due diligence before making any commitment about either delaying or postponing or cancelling the race. So we have to trust their judgement and their knowledge.

“But, of course, we keep a very close eye on the situation which will be on the agenda on Wednesday's strategy meeting where we will get the next update.”

Read Also:

There have been rumours that one option China has looked at has been to swap its race date with the Russian Grand Prix – which is currently scheduled for September 27. This would ensure that China has more breathing space for the health situation to settle, and would help keep the calendar at 22 races.

However, such a prospect has been ruled out by Russian officials, who say they have no interest in moving dates.

A spokesman for the Russian GP said: “The date for the 2020 Russian GP was set in October last year and isn’t changing.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said he was not too worried about the situation surrounding the Chinese GP: “At the moment it doesn't look too good, but it's still a long way so I'm not too worried about it now,” he said.

“Like Christian says, we just wait for the decision so let's see what happens. I don't worry too much in life, so sorry. You only live once.”

shares
comments
Red Bull RB16 launch date announced

Previous article

Red Bull RB16 launch date announced

Next article

Verstappen: Hamilton "good but not God"

Verstappen: Hamilton "good but not God"
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Prime

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix.

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone Prime

The 'special relationship' Ferrari will hope to exploit at Silverstone

Ferrari might have snubbed the very first world championship race on British soil but the Scuderia and the UK went on to enjoy some deep connections. As BEN EDWARDS explains, theirs is a shared history that is waiting for its next chapter to be written...

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021
The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality Prime

The political manoeuvring behind F1's return to British GP normality

OPINION: Formula 1 heads back to Silverstone this weekend for the 2021 British Grand Prix, where a full-capacity crowd will return after a painful absence in the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Here’s how the pieces that permitted a part of returning ‘normal’ life were arranged.

Formula 1
Jul 14, 2021