The 2020 F1 season start postponed until May, officially confirmed by the series organisers

The 2020 Formula One season was supposed to start earlier today with the very first free practice sessions held in Australia. After much speculation and debate between fans and the media overnight, we eventually received official word that the Australian F1 Grand Prix had been cancelled over fears of a spread of the coronavirus, or Covid-19.

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Other news in today is the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix have been postponed due to the continued global spread of coronavirus. The races had been set for March 20-22 at the Bahrain International Circuit, and April 3-5 at the recently completed Hanoi Circuit. This has left teams and fans wondering about the future of the 2020 season. Organisers stated that they expect the 2020 championship to begin in Europe at the end of May, but isn’t a guarantee either.

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The official statement

In view of the continued global spread of Covid-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA a decision has been taken by all parties to postpone both races due to take place on the 20th-22nd March and April 3rd-5th April respectively.

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Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local health 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.

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Formula 1 chairman and CEO, Chase Carey, said: “The global situation regarding Covid-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and it’s 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 to us. 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.”