FIA prepared to "take action" as it monitors China's coronavirus

Jonathan Noble
FIA issues update on coronavirus outbreak
FIA issues update on coronavirus outbreak

The FIA says it will take "any action" to protect the motorsport community as questions grow about whether China's coronavirus outbreak will force the Chinese Grand Prix to be cancelled.

There have been 170 recorded deaths and 7700 cases of the infection confirmed since the outbreak, which has prompted a number of cities to go into lockdown.

Scroll to continue with content

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will meet on Thursday to consider whether the virus now constitutes a global health emergency.

Formula E is due to hold a race in Sanya on March 21, while Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix is scheduled to take place at Shanghai on April 19.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the FIA said its evaluation of the situation was being led by its medical chief professor Gerard Saillant.

"Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out in China at the beginning of the year, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its member clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gerard Saillant," it said.

"The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motorsport community and the wider public."

FIA issues update on coronavirus outbreak
FIA issues update on coronavirus outbreak

In theory, any decision to cancel the Chinese GP would need to come from the race promoter first.

This week, the UK Foreign Office warned against all non-essential travel to China, and a number of major sporting events due to take place in the country have already been cancelled.

Most recently, the World Indoor Athletics Championship, which was due to take place in Nanjing from March 13-15, have been postponed.

Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus

What to read next