The future of the first F1 races is clouded in uncertainty, as more negative consequences keep surfacing following the spread of Coronavirus.
The epidemic, whose first outbreak happened in China, has now reached over 110k subjects worldwide. Italy is currently the most plagued country, coercing the Government to establish a strict 3-week lockdown of the peninsula.
Earlier today the World Health Organisation labelled the Coronavirus epidemic as a ‘pandemic’, stating the following. “WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that #COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”
Concerns rise on the F1 front, as two Haas team members and one from McLaren went into precautionary isolation after displaying flu symptoms. The three suspect Coronavirus cases were tested and subsequently put in quarantine in their hotel rooms in downtown Melbourne.
The Australian GP recklessly insisted to go ahead with the race without applying any restrictive measures to contain the spread of the virus. Only this morning a statement was released regarding the cancellation of autograph sessions, which will be replaced with Q&A sessions.
While it was previously announced that Bahrain is going to be unprecedentedly held behind closed doors, it is still unclear which precautions the Vietnamese GP is bound to apply.
F1 CEO Chase Carey was spotted on Wednesday morning in Hanoi, having taken part in a meeting with the city’s authorities. It has been rumoured that the final decision was to postpone the inaugural edition of the Vietnamese race.
As Sydney ‘Stop F1’ skywriting popped up, it is clear that the atmosphere and the mood heading towards the first race of the season are much different from the past. ‘Should they go racing regardless?’ is the question, and while the current situation would suggest a firm ‘NO’, reality is clashing with an impetuous ‘YES’.