Ross Brawn says the first three races of the 2020 Formula 1 season are still going ahead at this time despite the outbreak of Coronavirus and the possible threat to has over those attending the events.
However, Brawn says there will not be any unnecessary risks taken and the sport will be maintained in the ‘safest possible way’.
The Australian and Bahrain Grand Prix are set to take place in consecutive weekends starting next week, with the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix to follow two weeks later. The Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled to run just after Vietnam, has already been postponed due to the outbreak, although Formula 1 is still trying to re-add the event to the calendar later in the year.
Formula 1’s governing body remains in talks with the local health authorities of every country the sport is set to visit in the upcoming weeks to attempt to minimise the risk of getting the virus for fans, teams and drivers alike.
“It is challenging at the moment, and we are all facing the challenge of the coronavirus,” Brawn is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com at the launch event of new F1 partner 188Bet. “I think the key thing is to try and maintain the sport in the safest possible way.
“We can’t take unnecessary risks, but we can’t just shut down completely. I mean if the whole economy shut down completely, that would have a much more serious impact than the coronavirus. But the coronavirus is a very serious threat, so we have to take the necessary reactions.
“For every country we’re working with the local health authorities to decide what is the appropriate actions to take. All the teams for instance are minimising the amount of staff that travel. So we’re taking every sensible precaution we can, and we have to follow the advice of the health authority.
“At the moment, the first three races are going ahead. But this is a situation that is changing day by day. So we have to react and we have to respond accordingly.”