A potential suspension of all motorsport events in China until April following the Coronavirus outbreak could threaten this year’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The novel virus detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December has so far claimed 41 lives and infected over 1,300 Chinses citizens, forcing authorities to put 18 cities and 56 million people under lockdown!
The World Health Organisation is scrambling to understand and contain the virus which causes pneumonia-like illness.
The first few cases of Coronavirus have been reported in Europe and in the US, and China has implemented a travel ban while the country’s capital, Beijing, has canceled fairs and festivals, any events that generate large gatherings where the airborne virus could spread.
China’s General Administration of Sport issued on Thursday a directive that cancels all sporting activities until April.
It’s unclear however if the directive extends to all motorsport events scheduled to take place in China during the caution window.
If so, the decision would prevent the organization of the Chinese round of the Formula E championship which is set to take place on the island of Hainan in Sanya on March 21.
Formula 1 and the FIA have yet to address the concerns, but should the current rate of infection increase it would not bode well for the Chinese Grand Prix.
And should China eventually order the cancellation of the event, the density of this year’s 22-race calendar would make it very difficult to reschedule the round at some time later in the season.