Chinese GP officially postponed over coronavirus outbreak

Pablo Elizalde

The Shanghai event was scheduled for April 19 but, as reported earlier on Wednesday, F1 chiefs were set to postpone it as more and more events continue to be cancelled in China due to the spread of the virus.

The FIA and Formula 1 have now confirmed that they have accepted an official request from the Chinese GP promoter to postpone the event.

"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," the FIA and F1 said in a statement.

"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."

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They said they will look at potential dates to slot the grand prix in later in the year.

As reported today, one alternative being considered is moving the finale in Abu Dhabi to make room for China late in November.

"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 statement added.

"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."

The Chinese GP is the first Formula 1 race to be postponed since the 2011 Bahrain GP, which was cancelled due to civil unrest.