Formula One to call off Bahrain and Vietnamese GPs

14 Mai, 2020, 20:31 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain and Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia

"Postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information now available to us", said FIA president Jean Todt. "It's shocking that we're all sitting in this room".

The fast-moving developments sparked a crisis meeting between the race organisers, the FIA, teams and Formula One promoters late Thursday to discuss whether Sunday's race should go ahead.

Although Sky Sports and the BBC both reported in the early hours of Friday morning that the Grand Prix was cancelled, motor sport governing body the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) waited to confirm the decision until around 10.30am AEDT.

To be fair, the confirmed case of the virus in one of the team members is what tipped the scale and left the motorsport platforms with no choice.

Meanwhile, AGPC officials said they would release information later regarding ticket refunds.

Westacott said talks with F1 would follow at a later date over a potential new date for the race.

"It was important to make sure the fans who were here in Melbourne, some of the fans who were at the gate, knew that it wasn't a postponement or didn't get the impression it was a postponement for some period of hours or days or something".

The season opening Formula One race scheduled for Melbourne this weekend has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Australia's location in the southern hemisphere means the weather could be good enough to host a race in December, but it would require all of the circuit infrastructure to be ripped down in the coming weeks and put back up again later in the year.

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While a desire to run the Melbourne GP as planned is understandable, Formula 1 was in the minority as other global sporting codes made the decision to cancel their events much sooner.

When and where will the first race of 2020 take place?

That's the big question at the moment.

FIA president Jean Todt said: "Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information now available to us". But with the outbreak of coronavirus affecting people across Europe, that also seems unlikely to go ahead - as does the Spanish Grand Prix a week later. "Our thoughts go out to all those directly and indirectly affected by the current coronavirus situation, as well as those for whom this announcement will be a disappointment as they looked forward to an exciting inaugural race".

Calls to cancel the event have been circulating for over a week, with health experts and key pundits all voicing concerns around the Covid-19 virus.

Do the teams and drivers want to race?

Several drivers posted on social media in support of F1's decision to cancel the race and it is hard to believe anyone in the sport will speak out against it.

The fourth race on the calendar is scheduled to be the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on May 3, a home grand prix for Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

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