McLaren boss Zak Brown says his squad, and Formula 1 in general, will monitor the risk of the Covid-19 virus to the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix.
Vietnam shares a land border with China, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, which has so far seen 60,000 cases, including 1,350 fatalities.
Following weeks of uncertainty it was confirmed on Wednesday that the Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai, will not go ahead.
Attempts will be made to rearrange the event later in the season but given the fluidity of the situation in China, and the congested nature of the Formula 1 calendar, it is unlikely to take place.
Vietnam’s inaugural grand prix is set for the third round of the season, on April 5, at a semi-permanent street circuit on the outskirts of capital city Hanoi.
On Thursday authorities in Vietnam placed over 10,000 people in quarantine in a farming district to the north of Hanoi; the land border crossing to China, and flights to and from its neighbouring nation, have been suspended for over a week.
“I spoke with [Formula 1 CEO] Chase [Carey] yesterday about China, or maybe it was two days ago, and he was giving me a heads up before the official announcement came out,” said Brown.
“Obviously the wellbeing of McLaren and the greater world is of upmost important.
“Vietnam is not being raised yet as a potential issue but obviously it is very nearby and neighbouring so we’re going to monitor the situation and we’d never do anything that puts our people at risk.
“I don’t believe F1 would as well, so like the rest of the world just got to monitor the situation.
“This is obviously a new situation for all of us, we’re all in the same situation, it’s unforeseen, unheard-of.
“I know some races have been cancelled in the past but not necessarily what we’re facing here, we will have to react when we know more, it’s the same for everyone.
“First and foremost it’s a terrible situation for the world so hopefully that situation gets resolved because I think other things such as sport doesn’t matter compared to that.”
Organisers of the Vietnam Grand Prix have said that they are “actively monitoring” the situation and have expressed confidence that there will be no significant impact on April’s event.