Dubai: The Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week — at an empty track — and the inaugural Vietnamese GP was set to be held in Hanoi on April 5.
The first four races of the Formula One season have all been called off. The season-opening Australian GP and the China GP were previously postponed.
No new dates have been set for the races but governing body FIA says it expects to begin the F1 season in May when it reaches Europe with the Dutch GP.
The Chinese GP in Shanghai scheduled for April 19 was postponed on February 12.
There have been more than 128,000 cases and 4,700 deaths globally since the virus outbreak started late last year. Most people quickly recover from the virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
According to the World Health Organisation, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks.
Friday's late decision to call off the Australian GP hastened after McLaren withdrew because a team member tested positive for the COVID-19 illness.
Even before the cancellation was announced, defending champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team sent a letter to the FIA and F1 requesting it be called off and had commenced preparations to leave.
McLaren's withdrawal was ultimately the catalyst. That person and 14 other McLaren team members have been placed in quarantine in a Melbourne hotel for 14 days.
Members of the US-backed Haas team were in isolation but were cleared after tests.
"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," F1 chairman Chase Carey said. "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.''