Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, says it is monitoring the situation in China, amid the ongoing outbreak of a coronavirus.
The virus, thought to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, broke out in December 2019, and has gained greater prominence this month.
As of Tuesday the World Health Organisation and China’s National Health Commission confirmed that 132 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
There have been almost 6,000 cases of the virus, which has now spread beyond mainland China, with other nations reporting cases.
In the United Kingdom the Foreign Office issued an update on Tuesday to warn against all but essential travel to mainland China.
The WHO expressed its “deep concern” over the number of cases and that a “better understanding of the virus is urgently required to guide countries on appropriate measures.”
The FIA confirmed that it is monitoring the situation in association with Formula 1 and its ASN (local sporting authority) and will be tracking the evolving situation over the coming weeks, in order to consider its options.
Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix, which takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit, is currently scheduled as the fourth round of the season, from April 17 to 19, two weeks after the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix.
Formula E’s Sanya E-Prix, which is held on the Chinese island of Hainan, is scheduled for March 21.
Chinese authorities have moved in recent days to impose travel restrictions on more than a dozen cities in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, while other countries have stepped up the screening of passengers at airports.
Several other sporting events or qualification matches have already been postponed or cancelled due to the outbreak of the virus.
Cycling’s Tour of Hainan, scheduled for February 23 to March 1, has been indefinitely postponed, as has the Chinese Supercup match between Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua, which was set for February 5 in Suzhou. China’s football season is currently still due to start on February 22.
Events in boxing, basketball, tennis, skiing and swimming have all either been postponed, moved elsewhere, or cancelled.
China is currently in the midst of its New Year holiday period but this has been extended from January 30 until at least February 2, while enterprises in Shanghai will shut until February 9, while universities and schools in the city have suspended re-opening until at least February 17.