FIA Suspends Races Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to the Coronavirus global pandemic happening worldwide, the Federation Internationale De L'Automobile (FIA)—led by FIA Medical Commission President Professor Gerard Saillant—is closely watching its growing situation with its other member Clubs, the Government, and World Health Organization (WHO).
Part of their most significant move was to postpone the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, which was originally scheduled for April 19.
This came following the request of Chinese Grand Prix Promoter, Juss Sports Group to the Federation of Automobile and Motorcycle Sports of People's Republic of China (CAMF) and Shanghai Administration of Sports, to postpone the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.
The move to postpone the race is not surprising. China—particularly at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, Hubei province—is reportedly where the Coronavirus originally started.
So far, WHO recently reported a total of 77,362 cases of COVID-19, with around 2,618 deaths as of February 2020 in China. According to WHO General Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the "epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and has been declining steadily since then."
Other Cancellations and Postponements
The FIA and Formula 1 are working closely with Juss Sports Group, CAMF, and other local authorities as they monitor the development of the Coronavirus outbreak. They will give the necessary amount of time to study potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix as soon as the viral pandemic lessens in its severity.
Aside from postponing the 2020 F1 Chinese Grand Prix, FIA is also postponing / cancelling the following races:
- Sanya E-Prix
- Rome E-Prix
- Jakarta E-Prix
- FIA WEC "Sebring 1000 Miles" Race
- 2020 FIA F1 Australian Gran Prix
- FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix
- Vietnam Grand Prix
- TOTAL 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
- 2020 WTCR-FIA World Touring Car Cup Race of Germany
- 24 hours of Le Mans
Founded in 1904, the FIA's initial goal was to "bring coherent governance and safety to motor sport."
Over the years, FIA has grown into a global organization that promotes not just the exciting world of motor sport, but also " safe, sustainable and accessible mobility for all road users across the world".
Its aim to promote safe and sustainable forms of mobility has led them to create global initiative projects, such as FIA Action for Road Safety. Supported by the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety, its main goal is to lessen road fatalities by five million before 2020.