Russia says no F1 date swap with China

Alexey Titov
Alexey Titov

(GMM) Formula 1 teams are set to discuss how to handle the deepening coronavirus crisis.

As the epidemic's death toll rises to 425 and the number of cases to above 20,000, we reported on Monday that delaying April's Shanghai race is on the table.

But Russia has played down the possibility of swapping places with China.

"The date for the grand prix was approved by the FIA last October and remains unchanged," Sochi race promoter Alexey Titov told Tass news agency.

The Chinese GP is not the only problem. Vietnam is also set to host its first grand prix in April.

"We understand the concerns but we have not heard anything officially," the Hanoi race's CEO Le Ngoc Chi said. "We are ready with our race date."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the coronavirus situation will be discussed by the teams, Liberty Media and the FIA at a strategy group meeting on Wednesday.

"We are keeping a close eye on the situation and will do all the due diligence about possibly delaying, postponing or canceling," he said.

"But right now we couldn't go because we couldn't get there," Horner smiled, referring to the highly restricted air travel into and out of China.