The Consequences of the F1 Chinese Grand Prix Getting Cancelled

Published 02/05/2020, 8:07 AM EST


The future of the Chinese Grand Prix 2020 looks bleak. Amid the horror of Coronavirus grasping mainland China. Mass shutdowns, Health emergency across the country and even factories shutting down do not out up a good picture of the situation. So, what if the Formula 1 Chinese GP was canceled?

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Scheduled for mid-April it is the 4th race of the season and along with the inaugural season of Vietnam GP (lower probability), it is the one where Coronavirus outbreak might play spoilsport.

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Formula-E race due on 21 March in Sanya has canceled recently and the news on Chinese GP might follow soon. Sanya is 1400km from Wuhan, where the virus originated. In comparison, Shanghai is only 700km away. Even though the Chinese Grand Prix (19 April) still is 2 months, the cancellation of the Formula E race makes it seem likely that F1 could follow suit.

World Cup Alpine Skiing events in February, World Indoor Athletics Championships in March are already canceled or postponed. FIA said that it is monitoring the situation and looking at ways any potential changes might impact on the F1 calendar.

“Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out in China at the beginning of the year. The FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs. Under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant,”

“The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races. If necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motorsport community and the wider public.” the statement read.

So, what could be the impact of a canceled Heineken Chinese GP, let’s take a look.

Chinese Grand Prix’s Impact on Championship

With Chinese Grand Prix canceled, the F1 world championship will move to Europe with a 1-month gap between Vietnam and Dutch GP. Giving teams time to evaluate their car, strategy in the first 3 races and plan the development accordingly. However, the potential impact on WDC will be minimal and it is too early to speculate anything.

Impact on Sponsorships and Business

The impact on local organizers “Juss Sports”, one of china’s leading sports event management company can be massive. They have a revenue-sharing agreement/commercial rights sharing agreement with F1. They organize the Chinese Grand Prix every year. In addition, also manages the overall business in mainland China. For instance, with tickets for the event already live the impact on business and potential loss of revenue from merchandise sales can be major.

As for title sponsors “Heineken N.V.” and major local promotor “Yutime,” the loss of business will be massive. Additionally, any decision taken without their consensus could hamper the future relationship as well.

Possible alternatives to the Chinese Grand Prix

Postponing the Chinese Grand Prix

There are 22 races this season making the calendar already jampacked. Therefore it won’t be feasible to move the race around.

Replacing it with any other GP

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Possible alternatives could include the German GP and the Malaysian GP. If FIA makes a decision in the upcoming week probably arrangements could be made to replace the Chinese GP.

Cancellation with no replacement

Certainly, the most likely outcome will be FIA canceling the 2020 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix.

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In conclusion, it is up to the Chinese government and FIA to take a decision on the Chinese Grand Prix 2020.

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Mrinal Kuniyal

380 articles

Mrinal Kuniyal has been a contributor to EssentiallSports since early 2020 and has focused on Formula 1, NASCAR, and IndyCar. He's a management graduate and his areas of interest include motorsports, marketing, and music.

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