LONDON – The 2020 Chinese Grand Prix has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, Formula 1 organizers said Wednesday.
The event had been scheduled to take place between April 17-19 at the Shanghai International Circuit.
In a statement Formula 1 said: “The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible.
“We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.”
Chinese Grand Prix promoter Juss Sports had requested the delay following discussions with the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People’s Republic of China (CAMF) and Shanghai Administration of Sports.
Formula 1 and the sport’s governing body the FIA accepted the request in a bid to contain the ongoing health concerns surrounding the outbreak following the World Health Organisation’s decision to classify it as a global health emergency, the statement said.
The decision sought to protect the health of traveling staff, competitors and fans.
Formula 1 said it would study possible alternative locations if the situation begins to settle later in the year.
The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus, which originated in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, has surpassed 1,000.
Almost 45,000 infections have also been reported in China.
The WHO decided to name the disease COVID-19.
Several other international events, such as the Singapore Airshow, Paris Fashion Show and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak as several large companies withdraw for health reasons.
The virus has been detected in over a dozen countries, including the US. All but two deaths have occurred inside mainland China.
The Chinese Grand Prix was founded in 2004 after the completion of the 5.451 kilometer circuit.
Briton Lewis Hamilton won the last edition.