Under normal circumstances, the 2020 Formula One world championship would already be underway. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has forced F1’s hand as the Australian Grand Prix got called off. Along with that, the Bahrain, Vietnam and Chinese Grand Prix faced postponement.
Now, the latest news is that the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix will follow suit. Clearly, the coronavirus threat is far more severe than anticipated. F1 is facing the effects, as a McLaren employee and a Pirelli employee contracted the virus.
It is gutting for Dutch fans and Max Verstappen, especially since the Dutch Grand Prix is expected to return after 45 years. In an alternate universe, the Dutch Grand Prix will take place at the iconic Zandvoort circuit on May 1-3, with the Spanish Grand Prix and Monaco Grand Prix following it.
Sadly, the ongoing coronavirus situation has forced all three races to be on ice. According to a statement, “Formula One, the FIA 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.”
What is Formula One going to do now?
Obviously, all parties are determined not to have a year without racing, so alternative dates are being scouted. F1 and the FIA hope to kick off the 2020 season “as soon as it’s safe to do so after May”. Until the situation calms down, the authorities will continue to monitor the situation.
Owing to the unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, F1, the FIA and the promoters took these decisions. The idea is to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and the fans.
To get a clearer idea, Formula 1 and the FIA are working closely with affected promoters and local authorities. They are studying the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in 2020. Until that time, All parties hope that the situation improves.
Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it’s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation.