You’ve no doubt heard about the coronavirus, the news is everywhere and with a total of almost 8000 cases worldwide reported at the time of making this video and a death toll of 170, with both expected to rise over the coming weeks – it’s starting to affect the world at large and it’s effects are beginning to be felt in the world motorsport.
How the coronavirus could affect f1. The FIA have just come out saying they are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak in China and are ready to take action if necessary.
The WHO has expressed – quote – “deep concern” over the the number of cases and they are currently holding a meeting to determine whether to declare it as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the results of which may already be released by the time you’re watching this.
Several major sporting events have already been rescheduled, postponed indefinitely or cancelled; and with the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for mid April it falls within a potentially risky window.
The statement just released by the FIA regarding the situation reads as follows:
“Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out in China at the beginning of the year, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant. The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public.”
This is clearly all very precautionary but there was a few key words to take note of, the first being “races” plural. Vietnam is one of currently 14 other countries in the region outside of China to report cases of the coronavirus and given it’s close proximity to mainland China as well as being set only 2 weeks before the Chinese Grand Prix there is a chance that if things go downhill that it could be affected.
Melbourne like Vietnam
There have also been cases reported in Melbourne like Vietnam, there currently appears to be little risk of anything to seriously affect the races.
But the FIA wouldn’t be the first global sporting body to take such a forward approach with the World Athletics Federation postponing their Indoor Championships planned for mid March until 2021 following a statement from their medical team who leased with the WHO that read:
“The spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko disagrees that Gasly’s shift to Toro Rosso was a demotion preferring to call it “an opening of new opportunities”
Lewis Hamilton has come out denying rumours of all contract talks with Mercedes stating:
“FYI Toto and I have not even spoken about contract yet. Nothing is being negotiated currently, papers making up stories.”
McLaren driver Lando Norris says that due to F1 being a “complex sport” only experience really allows things to “get easier”
Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa believes that his former team will “closely analyse” Sebastian Vettel this year in order to determine whether or not to re-sign him
Racing Point driver Lance Stroll believes being at the same team for a second year running is “a very big advantage” in terms of personal development
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl declined taking credit for his teams uptick in performance stating the team “was on the way up” when he arrived but that he provided them with “a clear structure”
Seidl also said that both Sainz and Norris “have the potential to be top drivers”
Former F1 driver Jean Alesi praised Leclerc calling him “a phenomenon” and stating “he will soon be champion”
The W Series is set to earn drivers Super Licence points from 2020 onwards with the champion earning 15 points
It’s reported that Alonso has signed a deal with Andretti Autosport to race in the Indy 500 this year and will be announced in the coming days
And Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius has shut down talks that Mercedes may be leaving F1 stating firmly that it’s “not true”
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|