Chinese F1 Grand Prix postponed due to coronavirus

WION Web Team Shanghai, Shanghai, China Feb 13, 2020, 02.16 PM(IST)

Shanghai International Circuit Photograph:( AFP )

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The Formula One championship will commence with Australian Grand Prix on March 15. 

China's novel coronavirus has adversely affected sporting events in China. The latest victim is the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. 

Also read: Tokyo Olympics CEO calls coronavirus concern 'irresponsible rumours'

The Grand Prix was scheduled to take place on April 19 in the Shanghai International Circuit which is approximately 800 kilometres away from Wuhan (the epicentre of the outbreak). However, due to the outbreak, the governing body has decided to postpone the event. The new date is still to be declared. 

Also see: Sporting events that fell victim to coronavirus!

F1 and FIA made an announcement on Wednesday where they said that they have "accepted a request" from meeting promoters to postpone the race. 

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The race was postponed "in view of the continued spread of novel coronavirus", which is now named COVID-19.

"The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible," Formula 1 management said in a statement.

"We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time," it added.

The postponing of Shanghai Grand Prix raises doubts over the inaugural F1 race in Vietnam, which is scheduled for two weeks before the race in Shanghai. The virus has entered Vietnam. 

The Formula One championship will commence with Australian Grand Prix on March 15. 

The death toll in China's coronavirus leapt to 242 in just one day with over 60,000 infected, China's health ministry said.

Hubei's health commission said another 14,840 new cases were reported in the area. The previous record rise in the toll was 103 on February 10.

At least 1,355 people have now died nationwide due to the virus. The virus has already spread to at least 27 countries with Singapore reporting 50 new cases.