While the Red Bull Ring closed its doors completely, suspending all activities at the ultra-modern facility, China’s Shanghai International Circuit reopened.
The pandemic caused by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus originated in China back in December 2019. The latest developments in China suggest that the peak of the outbreak in the country is generally over, albeit the situation remains grim in most of the other parts of the world. In recent weeks, Italy has become the epicenter, but, for a couple of days, the United States has been experiencing a coronavirus explosion with the number of registered infections surpassing 300,000.
The situation has already led to a number of cancellations and postponements of races. Formula 1 announced the postponement of the Chinese Grand Prix on February 12 which was then followed by further actions taken regarding seven other races. In the meantime, governments’ restrictions have forced even the circuits to close their doors worldwide due to the ban on mass gatherings.
Although China introduced severe restrictions as a reaction to the rapidly-spreading virus, many of its major cities are now functioning as normal. However, major tourist attractions are still closed.
Curiously, the Shanghai International Circuit where the season’s fourth race would have been staged reopened and held a Porsche event last week. Racing could also return to the famous motorsport facility in June provided that the situation continues to improve. The race promoter, Juss Events is reported to be keen on rescheduling this year's Chinese Grand Prix if the world returns to normal.
In contrast to China, Europe continues to be heavily touched by the virus. The Red Bull Ring is due to host the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, but the ongoing crisis casts doubts even on the event at Spielberg. The circuit complex featuring a spectacular and modern facility closed its doors for all its activities after the restrictions imposed by the government means that even driving experiences can’t take place. The government regulations concerning the limited implementation of activities in Austria are in force until 13 April.