Australian Grand Prix WILL go ahead despite coronavirus fears

Australian Grand Prix WILL go ahead next month despite growing fears over spread of coronavirus as F1 chief Chase Carey says it is ‘all systems go’ in build-up to start of 2020 season

  • The spread of coronavirus is a global concern with current death toll at 2,771
  • The Chinese Grand Prix has already been cancelled but Australia is going ahead
  • F1 chief Chase Carey says it is ‘all systems go’ for Melbourne next weekend
  • Bahrain and Vietnam are both still set to go ahead in the weeks that follow too 

The Formula One season will start as planned in Melbourne next month after it was announced the Australian Grand Prix will go ahead despite the ongoing  coronavirus crisis.

The Chinese Grand Prix, which was scheduled for April, has already been cancelled amid growing fears about the virus – which has claimed 2,771 lives globally – but F1 chief Chase Carey has announced it is ‘all systems go’ for the rest of the calendar.

‘We’re heading to Melbourne, heading to Bahrain and heading to Hanoi,’ he said in a conference call with journalists this week.

Formula One CEO Chase Carey says that first three rounds of the season are set to go ahead

Ferrari are based in northern Italy, where the coronavirus has spread at an alarming rate

There was some concern over Formula One’s first ever race in Vietnam, but Carey was strong in his commitment to the event.

‘The Vietnam Grand Prix will take place on 5 April in Hanoi. And to anticipate another question, we do plan to proceed with the race,’ he noted. 

Concerns about the start of the season are growing with the spread of the disease in northern Italy, where both Ferrari and Alpha Tauri have their bases.

People wear masks as they walk through the streets of northern Italy on Wednesday afternoon

As of Thursday morning, the death toll globally was 2,771, with 81,495 confirmed cases around the world.

Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix, the season-opener in Melbourne on March 15, are pressing ahead with their preparations despite government warnings that ‘all options’ are being considered if an outbreak of the virus occurs. 

‘We will take our guidance and lead from the health authorities and fall into line with their instructions. We have to be open-minded,’ Australian Grand Prix boss Andrew Westacott told local media on Wednesday.

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