Here’s How Coronavirus Is Impacting MotoGP, Formula E, Formula One

Another day brings additional cancellations, postponements, and even more disappointments.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Mar 12, 2020 9:44 AM
Here’s How Coronavirus Is Impacting MotoGP, Formula E, Formula One

As the scale of the global coronavirus outbreak becomes more apparent, governments across the globe are canceling major public events. Auto shows and motor races alike are being postponed or scratched outright, and this Wednesday, international race series MotoGP and Formula E announced new amendments to their calendar, while Formula 1 showed signs of having to again adjust its own schedule.

Following Circuit of the Americas' trade of its MotoGP season-opening April race weekend for a more secure date in November, MotoGP announced that the subsequent race in Argentina has also been rescheduled. Commercial rights holder Dorna Sports attributed the decision to fears of worsening the spread of COVID-19 in Latin America and has pushed the Argentine event back to November 22, in turn delaying the season-ending Valencia race to November 29. This further crowds the tail end of the MotoGP calendar, which may yet need to accommodate the delayed Thailand race sometime later this season. Widespread COVID-19 outbreaks in Catalunya, France, and Spain threaten the three rounds currently scheduled to start the MotoGP season, making the possibility of a delayed season start in Germany or the Netherlands in late June look very real.

Formula E also confirmed Wednesday morning that in addition to rescheduling its Sanya E-Prix in China, its Jakarta, Indonesia E-Prix will not be held on its initially planned date of June 6. Race organizers seek a rain check, though they have not yet outlined a window in which the race could instead be held.

Formula 1 isn't unaffected by COVID-19, as it has postponed the Chinese Grand Prix, and plans to run the Bahrain Grand Prix with no spectators. Fear of the virus still spread through the F1 paddock Wednesday morning, however, when the BBC reported that three team personnel—one McLaren, two Haas—had self-quarantined after showing cold-like symptoms prior to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this weekend. Race organizers are confident that the show will go on, and with a full audience, though the same can't be said for the hosts of the season's third race, Vietnam. Hanoi officials released a statement last Friday admitting that the worsening COVID-19 outbreak may force them to cancel the race outright, though if they do, rumor has it we won't be down a second race from the 2020 calendar. GP Today alleges a Bahrain doubleheader could be on the table, and that a decision will be handed down within 48 hours.

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