2020 F1 Chinese GP set to be called off after coronavirus outbreak

Luke Smith and Frankie Mao
Autosport
Chinese GP's April date set to be abandoned
Chinese GP's April date set to be abandoned

Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix is set to be called off, with an announcement about a potential postponement of the race due to be made as soon as Wednesday.

Shanghai is due to host the fourth round of the championship on April 19, but the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus in recent weeks has caused a number of sporting events in China to be cancelled or delayed.

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With little improvement in the situation in China, sources say local officials have agreed that the event cannot go ahead as originally planned.

Although there has been no official confirmation of this, it is expected that the move to call off the event will be announced by the FIA and FOM imminently.

Chinese GP's April date set to be abandoned
Chinese GP's April date set to be abandoned

F1 is, however, still thought to be trying to find a way to slot the race into the calendar later in the year.

One avenue being explored is moving the Abu Dhabi season finale back to make room for the Chinese GP to take place in November.

The race's absence would leave a four-week break between the Vietnam Grand Prix on April 5 and the Dutch Grand Prix on May 3.

It will become the first race to be postponed since the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011, which was ultimately cancelled due to civil unrest.

The Chinese GP's likely postponement follows a similar move by Formula E, which had been due to visit China for the Sanya E-Prix on March 21.

More than 44,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in China, causing more than 1100 deaths according to the latest official figures.

The British Foreign Office continues to advise against all but essential travel to mainland China, while British Airways has cancelled all flights to Beijing and Shanghai until April 1.

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