Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Formula E to Call off Chinese E-Prix in Sanya
The decision also calls F1's upcoming Shanghai race into question.
Formula E has made the decision to call off next month’s race in Sanya, China, over concerns of the coronavirus outbreak. At the moment, it’s unclear if we’ll see a make-up date for the E-Prix, but for now, organizers are being as cautious as possible.
With the World Health Organization declaring a global emergency over coronavirus and the fact that hundreds of people have died in the outbreak so far, the decision was made to pull the plug on the event. Despite plans for the race to be held in Sanya, some 1,000 miles from the outbreak’s ground zero in Wuhan, organizers opted to take a conservative approach.
Formula E officials have said there’s a possibility that the race may happen at a later date, but there’s no way to tell how long the virus will be an active threat in the area.
“All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates should the situation improve,” a statement from the organization explained. “We are working closely with our regional partner and the local authorities in Hainan Province and Sanya Municipal Government, to continue monitoring the situation as it develops. All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates should the situation improve."
Though it’s already momentous for Formula E to call off the E-Prix—the sixth of its 2019-2020 season—the decision raises concerns around the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is scheduled for April 17-19 in Shanghai, only 500 miles from Wuhan. F1 is notorious for waiting until the last minute to call off a race, but they might not have any choice this time around.
Several world governments have issued travel warnings and airlines are starting to cancel flights into mainland China. Other nations, including the United States and Australia, have begun denying entry to people who have recently been to the People’s Republic.
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