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.

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
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021