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Formula E postpones China race amid virus outbreak

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Formula E postpones China race amid virus outbreak
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The 2020 Sanya Formula E race has been officially postponed as a result of China’s coronavirus outbreak.

The race, which had been set to take place on March 21, was plunged into doubt by the developing situation in recent weeks – particularly the World Health Organisation declaring it a public health emergency.

FE has not proposed an alternative date for the race on Hainan Island at this stage, as it is taking the “appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates should the situation improve”, per a statement announcing the postponement.  

The full statement reads: “In view of the continued spread of coronavirus and after close consultation with the relevant departments of Hainan Province and Sanya Municipal Government, Formula E - together with the FIA, the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People’s Republic of China (CAMF), and regional partner Enova Holdings - have jointly decided not to race in Sanya on the scheduled date of March 21, 2020.

“Given the current growing health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus an international emergency, Formula E has taken the necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of its travelling staff, championship participants and spectators, which remains of paramount importance.

“We are working closely with our regional partner and the local authorities in Hainan Province and Sanya Municipal Government, to continue monitoring the situation as it develops.

“All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates should the situation improve.”

It is understood that the possibility of cancelling the Sanya race altogether remains on the table if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

If that happens, FE is likely to add an additional race to one of its European rounds, or – more likely – turn the New York event in July into a double-header.

It is not yet known what the Sanya race being postponed and the continuing coronavirus situation will mean for Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix, which is currently scheduled to take place on April 19.

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Series Formula E
Author Alex Kalinauckas