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Fri 13 Mar 2020 05:40 PM

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F1 bosses postpone Bahrain Grand Prix over virus outbreak

Bahrain becomes the third race in less than 24 hours to be called off after Australia and Vietnam

F1 bosses postpone Bahrain Grand Prix over virus outbreak

The Bahrain Grand Prix scheduled for March 22 was postponed by Formula One officials on Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak, becoming the third race in less than 24 hours to be called off after Australia and Vietnam.

"Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve," F1 officials said in a statement.

It is the fourth Grand Prix to be called off in total. The Chinese Grand Prix was postponed by motorsport's governing body in February because of the spread of the coronavirus.

The death toll from Covid-19 jumped to more than 5,000 on Friday as the number of cases around the world topped 134,000, according to an AFP tally.

Earlier on Friday, F1 boss Chase Carey insisted it was too soon to say whether other races will be cancelled this season over rising coronavirus fears as McLaren said 15 team members were now in quarantine.

The pin was pulled at the last minute on the opening Grand Prix of the year in Australia as concerns spiked following a McLaren staff member testing positive.

It saw the team withdraw from the Melbourne race and McLaren said another 14 personnel were now in quarantine at the team hotel for two weeks, in accordance with local health authority directives.

They were all in close contact with the person who tested positive.

"Any other team members who show symptoms will be tested immediately and self-isolate, in line with our protocol," McLaren said.

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