Feb.13 (GMM) F1 is facing the prospect of a gaping six-week hole in its 2020 calendar, with Vietnam’s new grand prix also in doubt because of the coronavirus.
As expected, the FIA on Wednesday said the Chinese GP in April will be postponed, with F1 CEO Chase Carey saying a rescheduling is unlikely.
“Clearly we have a busy calendar so it’s not easy to reschedule this late when essentially we are a month out from our first race of the season,” he said.
And the FIA is leaving open the door to also cancelling Vietnam, which shares a border with China. There are at least 14 cases of coronavirus in Vietnam.
“The global situation regarding this virus will continue to be monitored by the FIA with regard to other motorsport events,” the FIA said on Wednesday.
Kevin Magnussen, who drives for Haas, thinks Vietnam being cancelled as well is a possibility. That would leave a six-week gap in the 2020 calendar.
“We’ll have to see,” he told the Danish broadcaster TV2.
“Vietnam is right before China (on the calendar), so we’ll have to keep an eye on that too. It’s a pity, but it does mean a mini-holiday for us,” Magnussen smiled.
F1’s loss of income due to the Chinese GP cancellation is reportedly around $30 million, and that number would double if Vietnam now follows suit.
But Ross Brawn, F1’s sporting director, told Reuters that the “advice we are getting is that it can go ahead” in Vietnam.