F1 open to finding new date for Chinese GP

Formula 1 will try to find an alternative date later in the year for the Chinese Grand Prix, if the April 19 event has to be called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.

F1 open to finding new date for Chinese GP

The escalating situation in China, which this week resulted in Shanghai authorities recommending all sporting events be suspended until the outbreak is controlled, has cast doubts over the fourth race of the season taking place.

But while F1 waits for the Chinese race promoter to make a decision on the fate of the grand prix, managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn has said that if the event does not go ahead now, consideration will be made to running it later in the year.

"I think, if there is a probability it doesn't happen in April, it will be postponed," said Brawn in an interview with selected media, including Motorsport.com.

"We will leave open the opportunity to see if the race can run later in the year. China is an enthusiastic, growing market. So we'd like to have a race in China."

While there were rumours earlier this week that the Chinese GP could swap dates with another race, such an idea has been dismissed by Brawn.

"We probably wouldn't do that," he said. "We will just try to find a window of when the race could happen towards the end of the year."

Finding a suitable slot inside the current schedule looks incredibly difficult though, with no logical openings that would steer clear of a run of four or five consecutive grands prix.

One option though could be to extend the calendar and hold the Chinese GP in December, but this would not likely get much support from teams.

Brawn said that the situation surrounding the Chinese Grand Prix was a complicated one, but that F1 was awaiting a final decision from the Shanghai promoter.

"It looks very difficult," he said. "We're waiting for the Chinese promoter and authorities to make the final decision, which I think they will. They have cancelled all the public events in March. So no public sporting events or activities.

"So it is a tragic and very difficult situation. I think it'll become clear in the next week or two what's going to happen."

Brawn said that F1 realistically needed a decision within the next few weeks, before its personnel began travelling to China to start preparations for the race.

"There's two logistical deadlines," he said. "One is when all the sea freight goes which is this week, or next week. So the things like fuel and so on go on a ship. But that's not disastrous if that shifts and has to be brought back.

"Then we get into the physically putting people over there. That's a big challenge with people going there to prepare for the race. That's a critical stage. And that will happen in two or three weeks time. I think that's the point at which really you have to say what the situation is."

The virus has already had an impact on other international sporting events in mainland China and Hong Kong, with athletics, football, skiing, boxing, tennis, badminton, basketball and showjumping among those affected.

The biggest event to be impacted thus far is the World Athletics Indoor Championships, originally scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, which has been postponed until next year.

In tennis a Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group round due to run this week in Dongguan was cancelled, while Olympic qualifying contests across several sports have been moved to other countries.

shares
comments
Red Bull has changed 'philosophy' to avoid slow season start
Previous article

Red Bull has changed 'philosophy' to avoid slow season start

Next article

Why Brawn believes F1 2021's risks are worth it

Why Brawn believes F1 2021's risks are worth it
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far Prime

The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022