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Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Formula 1 GPs postponed

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Paris   /   Thu, March 19, 2020   /   11:06 pm
Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Formula 1 GPs postponed McLaren's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr takes part in the first practice session for the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore on September 20, 2019. (AFP/Mladen Antonov)

The Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Formula One Grand Prix races were on Thursday postponed due to the global spread of coronavirus, officials announced.

The triple postponements follow the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last week, and the postponement of the Chinese, Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races.

The Dutch GP, due to return to the calendar for the first time since 1985, was set to be held at Zandvoort on May 1-3, with the Spanish race following a week later, and the Monaco Grand Prix on May 21-24.

"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula One and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern," a joint statement from F1 and the FIA read.

All parties said they would study the viability of finding alternative dates to run the races later in the year, and the statement added that Formula 1 and the FIA expect to be able to begin the 2020 season "as soon as it's safe to do so after May", but will continue to monitor the situation.

The earliest the new season can now start is on June 7 in Azerbaijan.

The postponements are the latest to have hit a sporting calendar turned upside down by the coronavirus outbreak, which has 217,510 cases with 9,020 deaths across 157 countries and territories as of 1100 GMT Thursday.

The European football championships and Copa America have been both pushed back by 12 months to 2021. But the International Olympic Committee have so far pledged to carry on with the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to run between July 24-August 9.