Chinese Grand Prix set to be postponed as F1 reacts to coronavirus outbreak

More than 1,000 people have died following the outbreak in China and there are growing fears that the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix could also be affected

Lewis Hamilton: A career in numbers

Formula One chiefs are poised to announce the postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Independent understands that confirmation of the postponement could come as early as Wednesday, after it was decided that the race, scheduled to take place on 19 April, can no longer go ahead as planned.

The coronavirus has claimed more than 1,000 lives in China.

F1's hierarchy have looked at plans to reschedule the race for later in the season, with Liberty Media boss Chase Carey admitting the prospect is now a "likelihood" rather than a possibility.

"We recognise that the postponement of the event is certainly a possibility and you could probably go even further and say a likelihood just given what seems to be transpiring," Formula One Group chief executive officer and executive chairman Carey said.

But with a record-breaking 22 grands prix – including the round in Shanghai – already on the calendar, switching the race to another date will be difficult.

Speaking last week, F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn said: "China is an enthusiastic, growing market, so we'd like to have a race there.

"We will just try to find a window of when the race could happen towards the end of the year."

The inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix is due to take place on 5 April. Hanoi is located on the Chinese border and there is growing concern among the travelling F1 circus that the race might also have to be postponed.

But the sport's chiefs are determined that the third round of the season will go ahead as scheduled, with talks having already taken place between Liberty Media – F1’s owners – and the organisers of the debut event.

PA

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