Formula 1 postpones the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco GP's due to coronavirus fears

F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is the current country planned to host the start of the Formula One 2020 calendar on the weekend of June 7.

This is as a result of F1 deciding to postpone the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix due to take place in May because of the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic, making it seven races in total that have now been called off.

The F1 motor racing governing body, the FIA, had already decided to postpone the second and third races of the calendar in Bahrain and Vietnam, which were due to take place in April.

In a statement released by the Motor racing governing body it said:

"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula 1 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."

Part of an evolving plan that the F1 teams had decided on Wednesday was to already get rid of the regular summer break in August in bid to rescue the 2020 campaign.

Subsequently, the break is due to take place in March and April where teams must shut down their factories for 21 days. This is seven days longer than the usual 14-day break.

F1’s Managing director, Ross Brawn said:

“We could potentially have a doubleheader weekend of Grands Prix but obviously we are in uncharted territory. We obviously do need the teams to be flexible but we are set for a quiet start but I am hopeful of getting possibly 16 or 17 races in.”

F1 Grand Prix of Australia - Practice

Ferrari's Maranello HQ had already been shut down due to the situation in Italy and the Scuderia have therefore initiated F1's 21-day period without work with immediate effect.

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto said:

"There are a lot of restrictions which have been applied to minimise risks of contagion and that is affecting our development capacity.

Now everything is obviously pending. “We must wait for the evolution of the spread of coronavirus in the world and its effects on the resumption of activities."

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