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The Vietnam Grand Prix Might Happen, But Italian F1 Teams Could Suffer Due To Coronavirus

Illustration for article titled The Vietnam Grand Prix Might Happen, But Italian F1 Teams Could Suffer Due To Coronavirus
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty)

Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix has already been postponed as the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continues to impact the health of people around the world. And while the FIA is still confident that no other events will be affected, the Italian-based F1 teams could begin to suffer.

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F1's CEO Chase Carey is insisting that the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix—the event that fans and sport personnel looked to once the Chinese GP was postponed—is still likely to go ahead, Motorsport.com reports. Here’s more:

“Preparations for the race are going according to the set schedule,” said CEO Le Ngoc Chi. “The F1 race in Hanoi in 2020 will take place as planned. We are of course monitoring the situation closely and will notify customers and media should there be any changes.”

Carey backed up the local promoter, noting that he intends to visit the country next month.

“We do plan to proceed with the race,” he said in a call with Wall Street analysts. “I talked to our Vietnam partners yesterday, and I plan to stop in Hanoi on March 16th on my way back to London from Australia. And all systems are go.”

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Still, Carey noted that the coronavirus situation is still “fluid” and ever-changing, which could inevitably result in a later postponement or cancellation if the April 5 event doesn’t end up going forward.

But there’s another problem to consider. The Coronavirus has been spreading in Italy, with 400 cases reported in the country. While F1's Monza event doesn’t take place until later in the year, both Ferrari and Alpha Tauri are located in Italy, along with much of Pirelli’s tire operation. If travel restrictions come into play in Italy, these teams might struggle to go anywhere through the first part of the season.

Here’s more from Autoweek:

Ferrari has closed its museums and the company has restricted access “for employees that are residents or have visited the affected municipalities.” The factory in Maranello is now closed to visitors and there are restrictions on “all non-critical business travel.” The team says that, if necessary, there will be other measures imposed

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And then there’s the fact that to travel to the F1 opener at the Australian Grand Prix many teams fly to Melbourne via Bahrain and Dubai—a flight route that has been plagued with extended cancellations.

Formula One is a global operation, and it’s hard to overstate how difficult the start of the season is going to be for members of the paddock. The situation is likely to keep progressing, and we’ll keep you updated on any further motorsport events impacted by COVID-19.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

Concerns this week about Covid-19, a.k.a. the Coronavirus, a.k.a. the Wuhan Flu, have themselves mutated into a new strain of meta virus called Coronavirusvirus.

Coronavirusvirus appears to incubate as a form of mostly undetected paranoia, which is covalent with seemingly normal concerns about human rights abuses, censorship, and authoritarian concerns about the Chinese Government. This mostly undetected paranoia appears to incubate for approximately three weeks, and is exacerbated by a diet of talk radio, Fox News, newspapers like The Sun, or any combination of these things.

If left untreated, Coronavirusvirus manifests itself in racist sentiment and actions with zero basis in either fact or reality. Coronavirusvirus also appears to leave the sufferer in a state of prosopagnosia and ageographia, where they think that all people from Asia look the same and come from the same place.
In the worst cases, untreated Coronavirusvirus results in racist abuse being vomited from the mouth of the sufferer, and a general sort of paranoia which prevents them from normal interactions with Chinese people, people of Asian descent, and even people who have been born in your country and have never actually been to either China or Asia generally in their lives.

The medical association advises that people who are beginning to suffer from the effects of Coronavirusvirus, to stop listening and watching paranoia inducing right wing media, flush out their brains with actual facts, and avoid all social media including Twitter and Facebook. Further suggestions from the medical association in dealing with the Coronavirusvirus include proactive interaction with people from China and Asia, patronage of their businesses including shops, supermarkets, and restaurants, and actually talking to people who look a bit different to you.

If the effects of Coronavirusvirus are too severe and has manifested itself in full blown racism, then treatment includes quarantining such people and removing all of their radios, televisions and all internet connected devices, and preventing them from any embarrassing social interactions; so that they will not be racist racist knaves.
If you find yourself beginning to suffer from the effects of Coronavirusvirus, please consider also doing likewise, or else prepare to be muted or blocked on social media by people who do not have the Coronavirusvirus.