Formula 1’s planned return to South Africa has been delayed after its Fan Festival joined the list of postponements.
The opening four rounds of the 2020 campaign have either been cancelled or postponed due to the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
It is thought likely that the trio of grands prix in May – Netherlands, Spain and Monaco – are also likely to fall by the wayside.
Formula 1 had intended to hold a fan festival in Johannesburg on March 29, with Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas among the attendees, but this has now been abandoned.
“Following the announcement from the World Health Organisation categorising COVID -19 as a pandemic earlier this week, we have made the unfortunate decision to postpone the festival,” said F1’s Director of Marketing and Communications Ellie Norman.
“Our fans’ health and safety is paramount and whist we know this decision will be disappointing for our fans we believe this is the right decision at this time.
“We would like to thank all our partners and those involved in making the event happen, and we are fully committed to bringing the excitement of F1 back to South Africa.”