F1 'monitoring' coronavirus situation in China for upcoming GP in April

<i> Image: Johannes Eisele </i>
<i> Image: Johannes Eisele </i>
Johannes Eisele

The Formula 1 organisation and its governing body are continuing to "monitor" the worsening situation surrounding the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

With 170 now dead, News24 reported on January 30, and that number climbing every day, the world is reacting with alarm to the epidemic, as international sporting events in China are cancelled and major airlines begin scrapping flights.

It has been suggested that the epidemic could be at its peak by April, when F1 is set to race in Shanghai.  Wuhan, the virus' epicentre where millions of residents and visitors are in lockdown, is just 800km from Shanghai.

Britain's foreign office is advising against "all but essential travel" across all of mainland China.

"Following the ongoing developments in China and in light of official advice issued by the foreign office, we continue to monitor the situation in China closely with the FIA and the promoter on the ground," said Formula 1.

The governing FIA said separately: "We are monitoring the situation in close collaboration with F1, the promoter and with our ASN which is our conduit on the ground in China.

"At this stage there's not much we can do except watch the situation and react if necessary, if recommendations are made by the relevant authorities," a spokesman added.

Formula E is scheduled to race in Sanya, China, at the end of March, and organisers say that event is currently "still scheduled to go ahead".

"Given the current health concerns, we are continuing to closely monitor the situation as it develops on a daily basis," the statement added.

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