Formula 1 bosses may be forced to cancel the first-ever Vietnamese Grand Prix due to fears over the Coronavirus outbreak in neighbouring China.
The Chinese Grand Prix, due to be held in Shanghai in April, has already been postponed and now fears over the Hanoi showpiece are starting to grow.
The new Hanoi track is just 100 miles away from the Chinese border and, with travel routes into east Asia almost completely shut down, the race is looking less and less likely to take place.
The FIA released a statement regarding the escalating situation which read:
"The FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gerard Saillant.
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"The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motorsport community and the wider public."
Liberty Media, the owners of Formula 1, are desperate for Hanoi to make its debut as it is the first new race they have added to the calendar since their takeover in 2017.
Of more pressing concern for the bigwigs of the sport though will be the fact that the season opener in Australia is also in danger of being affected.
Major travel hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong have confirmed cases of the virus and airlines are taking drastic action to avoid further spread of the disease.
As a result, simply getting all the gear and personnel to Australia might prove to be a frightful logistical nightmare and simply may not be possible for some of the teams.
The Melbourne race is currently slated for March 15 but may have to be postponed as well if travel companies choose to axe yet more flights from their schedules.
Speaking on the decision to shelve the Chinese Grand Prix, Chase Carry admitted that it may be difficult to find another date to host it.
"Part of the challenge is that you don't really know the timeframe (of the virus)," he began.
"Clearly we have a busy calendar so it's not easy to reschedule this late when essentially we are a month out from our first race of the season.
"We will work with our Chinese partners to try and see, when we know more, what options might exist."
It is difficult to see how the FIA could find a solution that fits all three of the races into the already stacked schedule and it won't be surprising if both the Chinese and Vietnamese races don't take place at all.
We only hope that Liberty's desire to further their reach in East-Asia doesn't take precedence over the safety of the teams involved.News Now - Sport News