Chinese Grand Prix on April 19 to be called OFF due to growing fears following the outbreak of coronavirus
- The Chinese Grand Prix will not go ahead due to fears over the coronavirus
- The annual race, scheduled for April 19, was due to take place in Shanghai
- Shanghai is 500 miles away from Wuhan, where the virus broke out last month
- With a packed race calendar, it remains unclear if Formula One will reschedule
The Chinese Grand Prix has become the latest sporting event to fall victim to the coronavirus.
Formula One bosses are expected to confirm in the next 48 hours that the race, scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai, will not go ahead due to growing fears over the outbreak.
It remains to be seen if the race will be staged at a later date, but it will not be easy to find space in a packed calendar that will still number 21 rounds even without Shanghai.
The Chinese Grand Prix in April is to be called off by Formula One due to coronavirus fears
Virus outbreak accelerated last month in Wuhan, 500 miles away from the track in Shanghai
Shanghai is 500 miles from Wuhan where the outbreak began last month. The number of deaths from the virus rose to 1,000 on Tuesday.
All domestic football has been suspended in China, and among the events either cancelled or postponed are the World Indoor Athletics Championships and Tokyo Olympics qualifiers for boxing and women’s basketball.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton’s chances of finishing his career at Ferrari were handed a major setback on Tuesday night.
The chances of Lewis Hamilton finishing his career at Ferrari were dashed on Tuesday night
At the launch of their 2020 car, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto claimed that his priority is to stick with Sebastian Vettel as team-mate to Charles Leclerc.
Both Hamilton, the six-time world champion, and Vettel, the four-time winner, are out of contract at the end of the season, which starts in Melbourne on March 15.
Ferrari had previously confirmed their interest in the British superstar, admitting chairman John Elkann spoke to him tentatively about a move a few months ago.
At their 2020 car launch, Ferrari said they plan to go with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel
But on Tuesday, Binotto said: ‘Seb is our first choice at the moment. It (his next contract) is something we are discussing with him now and we will continue to discuss with him. He is our first choice.’
Asked if Hamilton, 35, was a fall-back option, Binotto said: ‘It’s not something we are considering at the moment.’
That sounds like music to ears of Hamilton’s existing Mercedes team, who are opening contract talks about his future this week.