2020 Chinese Grand Prix Postponed Because of Coronavirus Outbreak

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2020

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton steers his car past a billboard featuring portraits of himself (R) and Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel during the first practice session for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 12, 2019. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
GREG BAKER/Getty Images

The 2020 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The season's fourth race was set to take place from April 17 to 19 at the Shanghai International Circuit, but the postponement was confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. 

Formula 1 and motorsport's world governing body, the FIA, said they will "study the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year" along with the teams and the local governing bodies and authorities.

Per BBC News, coronavirus has killed over 1,000 people and spread to more than 20 countries.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson believes a rescheduled Chinese Grand Prix in 2020 is highly unlikely:

Andrew Benson @andrewbensonf1

The chances of the Chinese Grand Prix being rescheduled are extremely small. There are very few places it could fit, even if the virus becomes less of an issue, and any one of them causes logistical dramas. The teams would have to agree and they are unlikely to do so

The race has been an ever-present in the F1 calendar since the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in 2004, won by Brazil's Rubens Barrichello.

The 2019 race was won by Lewis Hamilton, whose six wins make him the most successful driver at the circuit by some distance. Two-time winners Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg are the only other drivers with multiple victories.

The Englishman will start his campaign to win a fourth consecutive world championship with Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.

If Hamilton does win the drivers' championship again in 2020, he will equal Michael Schumacher's all-time record of seven titles.