F1 has officially postpoined both Bahrain GP and Vietnam GP due to COVID-19 outbreak as they expect the 2020 season to start end of May.
After F1 were forced to call-off 2020 season-opener, Australian GP, at the last minute due to teams’ displeasure and McLaren member getting tested positive for COVID-19, the Bahrain GP and Vietnam GP were put under scanner already.
Voices from the paddock unofficially confirmed that both the races were going to be put off with the 2020 F1 season to start in Baku on June 7. The first part of the news is now officially confirmed in a joint statement made by the sport.
However, the second part remains unclear as the message from them states that they expect the 2020 F1 season to start in end of May, which likely is Monaco GP on May 24. If that is correct then both Dutch GP (May 5) and Spanish GP (May 10) won’t happen too.
F1 has not confirmed it so far as they want to carefully monitor how COVID-19 is contained. The changes could eat up the August summer break as well with re-scheduling. But after the debacle in Australia, this is a step in the right direction.
The full statement from F1 and FIA goes:
“In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA, the Bahrain International Circuit, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Hanoi People’s Committee the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, a decision has been taken by all parties to postpone both races due to take place on the 20th – 22nd March in Bahrain and April 3rd – 5th April in Vietnam.
Following the announcement of the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation this week and the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.
As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed. Formula 1 Chairman and CEO, Chase Carey, said:
“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. We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans.
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.”
FIA President, Jean Todt, said: “Protecting people first. Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information currently available
We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motor sport community.”
Here’s news on how F1 Aus GP was cancelled
Here’s news from McLaren pulling out
Here’s what F1 drivers said regarding racing in Aus GP