Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix won’t be run as scheduled.
The racing series announced Wednesday that the race scheduled for April 19 has been postponed because of the coronavirus. The virus has killed over 1,000 people as over 40,000 cases have been reported. Millions of people in the country are on a virtual lockdown and major airlines have canceled flights to and from China because of the outbreak.
“Amid continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, Formula 1, together with governing body the FIA, jointly decided to accept the postponement request in order to ensure the health and safety of the traveling staff, championship participants and fans,” a statement from F1 said Wednesday morning.
F1 said in its statement that it would look at potential dates later in the season for the race “should the situation improve.”
The cancellation of flights and other travel issues would make for a logistical headache to stage the race independent of the health concerns from the virus. F1 has raced in Shanghai at the Shanghai International Circuit since 2004.
"The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible," Formula 1 said. "We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time."
The Chinese Grand Prix was set to be the fourth race on the 2020 F1 calendar. Without the race being run as scheduled, F1 will have a month break between the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix on April 5 and the returning Dutch Grand Prix on May 3.
Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix on the way to his third consecutive — and sixth overall — world championship. The 2020 Formula 1 season kicks off March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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