F1: Safety of people 'paramount' as they reveal Coronavirus plan

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Formula 1 says the safety of people is "paramount" after revealing their plan to limit any impact from the Coronavirus.

While sports events around the world are being called off on a daily basis, F1 owner Liberty Media has pushed forward with this weekend's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne as normal, though next weekend's Bahrain GP is taking place behind close doors.

Beyond that, it is understood the new race in Vietnam is now highly likely to be cancelled, following the same fate as Shanghai which was postponed last month.

Also Read:

F1 though has faced some criticism for pushing ahead, particularly now as Italy, home to Ferrari, AlphaTauri and Pirelli, has implemented a nationwide lockdown to try and slow down the Covid-19 spread.

However, management insists no unnecessary risks are being taken.

“Due to the fluid nature of the virus, F1 will continue to take a scientific approach to the situation, acting on daily advice from the official health authorities and the advice or measures each host promoter may enact,” a statement read on Monday.

“F1 has itself implemented a number of measures based upon advice from Public Health England, including the suspension of all non-essential travel.

"Dedicated teams of experts will be deployed at airports, transit points and at circuits to safeguard personnel and focus on the diagnosis, management and extraction of suspected cases. Bespoke quarantine points are being installed by promoters for any suspected cases.

“For F1, the FIA and all teams and promoters, the safety of our people is at all times paramount.”

Whether that will be enough to ease concerns will likely depend on what happens this weekend in Melbourne but a steep sell-off of F1 stock on the NASDAQ, as noted by @FormulaMoney on Twitter, has taken the value of the sport to below what Liberty paid for it back in 2016.