Yesterday BBC Sport confirmed that the FIA had cancelled the first race of the F1 season, the Australian GP, due to the Coronavirus. Today, it’s been confirmed that the Bahrain and Vietnam GPs have also been postponed for the same reason.
McLaren revealed yesterday that a member of its team had been tested positive for the virus. With four races now either cancelled or postponed in total, F! is now saying that it expects to start the season in Europe at the end of May, with the situation being “regularly reviewed”.
“Following the announcement of the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation this week and the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern,” a statement regarding the Bahrain and Vietnam races read.
“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.
“As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed.”
The above quote also brings the first races of Europe, the Dutch and Spanish GP, into question.