Following yesterday’s cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 announced today that its Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix have also been postponed due to the continued global spread of coronavirus. The races had been set for March 20-22 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, and April 3-5 at the new Hanoi street circuit.
The announcement added that “Formula 1 and the FIA say they will continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam to monitor the situation and study the viability of potential alternative dates for both races.” It went on to state that F1 and the FIA “expect to begin the championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed.”
The latter would mean at least postponement of the Chinese GP currently scheduled for April 17-19, the Dutch GP on May 1-3, and the Spanish GP on the following weekend of May 8-10.
“The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and its right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions,” said F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey. “We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans. The Bahrain Grand Prix is an exciting race in our schedule, and we look forward to being back there as soon as we can. We are also looking forward to Vietnam’s inaugural race and bringing the spectacle of F1 to one of the most exciting cities in the world.”
FIA President, Jean Todt added: “Protecting people first. Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information currently available to us. We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organization and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motorsport community.”