Bahrain Grand Prix is the third race in a day to be scrapped over coronavirus

Image: TeamTalk
Image: TeamTalk

The Bahrain Grand Prix scheduled for March 22 was postponed by Formula One officials on Friday (March 13) due to the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the third race in less than 24 hours to be called off after Australia and Vietnam. 

"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," F1 officials said in a statement.

It is the fourth Grand Prix to be called off in total. The Chinese Grand Prix was postponed by motorsport's governing body in February because of the spread of the coronavirus.

SEE | F1 drivers react to Australian GP cancellation due to coronavirus fears

The death toll from COVID-19 jumped to more than 6000 on Friday as the number of cases around the world topped 134 000, according to an AFP tally.

Earlier in March, what would have been a first for Formula 1, the Bahrain Grand Prix was scheduled to go ahead, but with no spectators as the decision was taken to host it behind closed doors due to the coronavirus.

It was announced on Friday (6 March) that ticket sales for the race, which would have served as the second round of the 2020 F1 season, had been halted due to the global spread of the coronavirus as organisers plotted their next move.

On Friday morning, merely two hours before the first practice session of the Australian grand prix was to start, the race was called off, followed by the Bahrain and Vietnam several hours later.

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