'Going to be odd': World-first F1 ban imposed over coronavirus

For the first time in the history of Formula One, a grand prix is set to go ahead behind closed doors.

Organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix have taken the unprecedented step of banning fans from attending the event due to the global threat posed by coronavirus.

'CAN’T GO AHEAD': Daniel Ricciardo's huge call on Australian Grand Prix

NOT NICE: Motorsport prodigy exposes ugly response to bikini pic

Bahrain, which is hosting the second round of the F1 season at the Sakhir circuit outside Manama, has reported 83 cases of the virus, mostly linked to people who had travelled to Iran.

"Bahrain has made the decision to hold this year's (race) as a participants-only event," organisers said on Sunday.

Bahrain has banned fans from attending this year's grand prix due to the coronavirus crisis. Pic: Getty

"Convening a major sporting event, which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time," they added.

"To ensure that neither the sport, nor its global supporter base, is unduly impacted, the race weekend itself will still go ahead as a televised event."

The announcement has been met with a mixture of sadness and reluctant acceptance about the threat of coronavirus.

Coronavirus wreaking havoc on F1 schedule

Bahrain is the second F1 race casualty of the virus. The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai scheduled for April 19 has already been postponed.

A Bahrain International Circuit spokesman said accredited media would attend as usual.

Bahrain has suspended flights to some destinations over concerns of the rapidly spreading virus. It has also asked people entering the country who have recently visited Italy, South Korea, Egypt and Lebanon to isolate themselves for two weeks.

Maranello, Italy, home of the Ferrari team is within the affected area.

But both Ferrari and Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri, who are based in Faenza, will still race in Bahrain because they will be coming from the Australian GP, which hosts the opening race in Melbourne next weekend.

"Depending on where they flew through on the way from Melbourne, there is a process that you go through," the circuit spokesman said of the Italian teams."

With Yahoo Sport staff