The Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 19 has been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country motorsport’s governing body FIA announced Wednesday.
FIA said promotors of the Shanghai race had requested a postponement “in view of the continued spread of novel coronavirus”, now named COVID-19.
“As a result of continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, the FIA and Formula 1 have taken these measures,” the two bodies said.
“The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with the teams, race promoter, CAMF and the local authorities to monitor the situation as it develops.
“All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.”
The flu-like virus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected more than 44,000 in China after it first emerged in the central city of Wuhan late last year.
The Shanghai race, the fourth of the new season, becomes the latest — but easily the most high-profile — sports event to fall victim to the virus outbreak which has killed more than 1,100 people in China, where it emerged at the end of last year.
A host of international sporting events have been cancelled due to coronavirus, including the all-electric Formula E motor racing series that abandoned plans for a race in the Chinese city of Sanya next month.
The postponement also throws into doubt the inaugural race in Vietnam, which takes place two weeks before but where there have also been cases of COVID-19.