Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to virus

Formula One's Chinese Grand Prix postponed due to virus
FILE - In this Sunday, April 14, 2019, file photo, drivers prepare for the start of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. Formula One's governing body on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, says Shanghai Grand Prix scheduled for April postponed due to virus. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

LONDON (AP) — Formula One’s governing body on Wednesday postponed the Chinese Grand Prix that was due to be staged in Shanghai in April, the latest sporting event impacted by the fast-spreading viral infection in the country.

More than 1,100 people have been killed in China by the virus, which has been named as COVID-19 by the World Health Organization.

The grand prix was due to be raced on April 19.

Motor sport officials will study potential alternative dates for the race later in the year “should the situation improve,” F1 said in a statement that highlighted the need to “ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans.”

Other virus-enforced cancellations or postponements range from soccer and Olympic qualifying events to golf tournaments.

The Tokyo Olympics open on July 24 and organizers have repeatedly said the games will not be cancelled or postponed. But many Olympic qualifying events are in disarray, with Chinese athletes not free to travel outside the country to participate.