Paris: Formula One chiefs and teams are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in China and will modify the 2020 race calendar if necessary.
Amid growing concern about the spread of the virus, international sports have been postponed and Olympic qualifying tournaments have been taken elsewhere. The F1 race in Shanghai is scheduled for April 19 and may be at risk of being postponed or cancelled.
The sports governing body said in a statement Thursday it “will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races” under the supervision of medical commission president Gerard Saillant and, if necessary, “take any action required to help protect the global motorsport community and the wider public”.
The last F1 race to be cancelled was the Bahrain GP in 2011. That decision was made was because of an uprising and violent protests.
The first race of the 2020 season is the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 15, followed by the Bahrain GP in Sakhir one week later and the inaugural Vietnam GP in Hanoi on April 5. The final race is in Abu Dhabi in December.
On Wednesday, the indoor track world championships in Nanjing were postponed by a year. The event will now be held in March 2021.
More than 150 deaths in China have been recorded because of the disease.