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Formula 1 considering date change for Chinese GP amid coronavirus epidemic

Formula 1 considering date change for Chinese GP amid coronavirus epidemic
© Reuters
The race could be postponed following the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Formula One bosses are looking into rescheduling the Chinese Grand Prix if it is postponed.

The race is due to take place on April 19, but could be cancelled following the outbreak of the Coronavirus which has claimed almost 600 lives.

"China is an enthusiastic, growing market, so we'd like to have a race in China," said F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn.

"We will just try to find a window of when the race could happen towards the end of the year.

Despite Brawn's optimism, it is difficult to see a suitable date when the race can be rescheduled in the sport's record-breaking calendar.

Following the summer break in August, nine races are due to take place in just 13 weeks.

The topic was on the agenda at a scheduled F1 strategy group meeting on Wednesday, but no definitive outcome was reached.

"We're waiting for the Chinese promoter and authorities to make the final decision, which I think they will," added Brawn.

"They have cancelled all the public events in March, so there will no public sporting events or activities.

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

Ross Brawn, Formula One's motor sports managing director, believes a decision on this year's Chinese Grand Prix will be made in the next few weeks.
Ross Brawn, F1's motor sports managing director, believes a decision on this year's Chinese Grand Prix will be made in the next few weeks (David Davies/PA Images).

The inaugural Vietnam race is due to take place a fortnight before the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hanoi is located on the Chinese border and there is growing concern among the travelling F1 circuits that the race might also have to be postponed.

But F1 chiefs are confident the third round of the season will go ahead as scheduled.

A spokesperson for the Vietnam Grand Prix said: "We are actively monitoring the situation as it develops.

"For now, we don't anticipate any significant impact on our April event.

"We will continue to work with our relevant authorities to closely monitor the situation."

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