Formula One will call off the Bahrain and Vietnamese Grands Prix after the cancellation of Sunday’s Australian season-opener due to the coronavirus outbreak, multiple F1 sources told Reuters on Friday.
Bahrain was supposed to follow Australia’s March 15 race seven days later with organisers already deciding the race would be held behind closed doors.
But the events of the past 48 hours, which saw McLaren withdraw from the Melbourne race after a team member contracted coronavirus before F1 pulled the plug completely, has forced the race to take similar action.
Vietnam was set to host its first-ever F1 race on April 5 but has been in doubt for a while given its close proximity to China, where the coronavirus originated. The Chinese Grand Prix was supposed to be the fourth race of 2020 but in February organisers asked F1 to postpone the Shanghai event.
Sources said Formula One, which has already postponed the April 19 Chinese Grand Prix, was set to make an official announcement later on Friday.
The Australian Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled on Friday because of the coronavirus outbreak only hours before the first practice session was scheduled to get underway at Albert Park.
The fourth race on the calendar is scheduled to be the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on May 3, a home grand prix for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
There is uncertainty too about that, however, with a ban already in force in the Netherlands on gatherings of more than 100 people.