Vietnam GP could be cancelled too (Update)
|Chase Carey likely fuming over potential loss of revenue for now 2 races|
UPDATE (GMM) F1 teams are going to "monitor the situation" amid speculation the inaugural Vietnam GP could be the next victim of coronavirus.
As deaths surge to almost 1400, F1's Chinese round in April has already been postponed. But with Vietnam just across the border from China, there are also doubts about the viability of the Hanoi race.
This week, F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn said Vietnam should be able to go ahead.
But he spoke before the Vietnamese government announced that 10,000 people had been quarantined in a town just 50 kilometers north-west of Hanoi.
A spokesman for Brawn said: "We can only confirm that Vietnam is on the schedule."
Zak Brown said at the launch of McLaren's 2020 car on Thursday: "Vietnam is not being raised yet as a potential issue. But obviously it is very nearby.
"We're going to monitor the situation and we will never do anything that puts our people at risk."
A media source in Vietnam said race promoters were proceeding with preparations for the April race as normal, and will also take 'necessary measures' against the worsening epidemic.
And as his DTM race seat for 2020 was announced on Thursday, Robert Kubica also said he backed measures to protect people against infection.
"I think health is the most important thing and one should not underestimate what is happening," he is quoted by Przeglad Sportowy.
"I hope the situation will improve very quickly, or at least not get worse."
If Vietnam is also cancelled, it will create a massive six-week gap in the otherwise bustling 2020 calendar.
"This is obviously a new situation for all of us," said McLaren supremo Brawn. "But if there's a month off, then there's a month off."
Renault driver Esteban Ocon also said of the prospective calendar gap: "Believe me, the teams will find things to do."
|Magnussen sees possible 6-week gap in schedule a mini-holiday|
02/13/20 (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 canceling 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.