Formula E postpones Rome E-Prix over coronavirus

Formula E's Rome E-Prix has become the latest motorsport event to be postponed amid the global coronavirus outbreak.

Formula E postpones Rome E-Prix over coronavirus

The April 4 event was due to be the next round on the all-electric series' schedule, but now becomes the second FE event to be halted by the virus after the Sanya E-Prix in China.

On Wednesday, the Italian government announced that all sporting events were to take place behind closed doors until April 3 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Although this is one day before the original Rome date, the normal FE weekend timetable features a shakedown session the day prior to the race.

A statement issued by FE read: “As a consequence of the ongoing health emergency in Italy and according to the provisions set out in the ministerial decree concerning measures to counteract and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country – which includes sporting events with large crowds and spectators in close proximity – it will no longer be possible to stage the Rome E-Prix on April 4, 2020.

"Formula E, in agreement with the relevant authorities in Rome, EUR S.p.A and together with the FIA and Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI), will work closely with championship partners and stakeholders in order to assess and review alternative options to postpone the Rome E-Prix to a later date once restrictions have been lifted.

"All ticket holders will be contacted through the appropriate channels in the coming days."

Italy has been the worst-hit country in Europe by the coronavirus outbreak, having postponed both the men’s and women’s Six Nations rugby match with England and cancelled the Rome marathon.

The announcement from FE raises further doubt for the remainder of the 2019/20 calendar.

Thought to be most at risk are the inaugural Seoul (South Korea, May 3) and Jakarta (Indonesia, 6 June) events given their proximity to China, where the virus is thought to have originated.

However, Motorsport.com understands that FE will keep the April 4 date available for a race to be held in an alternative location to Rome. One possibility is for the series to travel to Valencia, where it conducts pre-season testing.

Some of the FE freight is already located at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo venue, making this a viable substitute.

Other major motorsport events to be impacted so far include Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix, the first two rounds of the MotoGP season in Qatar and Thailand and the delayed Super Formula season opener at Suzuka.

Although the Australian Grand Prix is set to go ahead next weekend, organisers of the Bahrain Formula 1 event have halted tickets sales while the coronavirus situation is monitored.

shares
comments
Rossiter: Japan chapter “closed” after Nissan split

Previous article

Rossiter: Japan chapter “closed” after Nissan split

Next article

FIA sets up Crisis Cell to manage coronavirus response

FIA sets up Crisis Cell to manage coronavirus response
Load comments
Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row Prime

Why Audi was right and wrong in Formula E's loophole row

OPINION: With Audi's Formula E exit imminent, it had nothing to lose in London by attempting to vault Lucas di Grassi into the lead by pitting him under the safety car. Scorn directed at the team for putting glory before ethics should instead be pointed at a rulebook that allowed such a move in the first place.

Formula E
Jul 28, 2021
Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK Prime

Why Formula E's London return delivered anarchy in the UK

Formula E landed for a London E-Prix for the first time since 2016, at the indoor-outdoor circuit around the ExCeL. Featuring the birth of renewed title pushes, a long-awaited maiden win and the second race's controversy, the round proved to be an exhibition of the electric series' anarchic nature.

Formula E
Jul 26, 2021
Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success Prime

Why consistency can't be relied upon for Formula E title success

It's commonly upheld as the most straightforward method of racking up titles. But, due to the unique qualifying format used in Formula E, a consistent approach can actively work against a driver and make their life harder in races. So with four races to go, is now the time to ditch the tried-and-tested approach for a win-or-bust mentality?

Formula E
Jul 23, 2021
How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York Prime

How Bird's crash recovery became Formula E's fairytale of New York

After crashing in practice during the opening session at the New York City E-Prix, Sam Bird immediately had a recovery job on his hands. But the Jaguar driver rose through the order and secured victory in the second race - and with it, the championship lead. Here's how an Englishman in New York became top of the heap.

Formula E
Jul 12, 2021
Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy Prime

Why Formula E is plotting a major change of philosophy

Formula E has become famed for its unpredictability, which can yield exciting races - but it can be argued that it robs the all-electric championship of a clear narrative and doesn't adequately reward the best drivers. The series wants to change that, and renew its philosophy ahead of the introduction of its next-generation car

Formula E
Jun 29, 2021
How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space Prime

How Puebla gave Formula E's new points leader breathing space

With the usual Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez venue unavailable to Formula E, it visited the little Puebla circuit to keep its foot in the door in Mexico. A near-winner two years ago, Pascal Wehrlein looked in swaggering form throughout the weekend - but a breathless final encounter helped put Edoardo Mortara in the driving seat.

Formula E
Jun 21, 2021
The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21 Prime

The half-term report cards of each Formula E team in 2020-21

In an eventful Formula E season, punctuated by rain and energy-conservation controversy, the 12 teams contesting the championship have endured many challenges in the opening seven races. Here's how they've got on across the first half of the season.

Formula E
May 26, 2021
How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco Prime

How Formula E stood up to F1 comparisons in Monaco

OPINION: It was no surprise to anybody that the laptimes achieved by Formula E cars on the full Monaco circuit were much slower than Formula 1. But perhaps the more relevant comparison was in the racing spectacle, where FE delivered in spades.

Formula E
May 12, 2021