Formula One has confirmed that its Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix have been postponed whilst the Monaco Grand Prix has been cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Europe.
F1 said in a statement that the decision had been taken to protect the health of ???travelling staff, championship participants and fans??? and added that alternative dates were under consideration.
"In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA and the three promoters it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Gran Premio De Espa?±a 2020 and Formula 1 Grand Prix De Monaco 2020 will be postponed," read a statement from Formula One.
"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.
"Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with affected promoters and 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.
"Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the 2020 Championship season as soon as it??™s safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation."
However later on the Automobile Club de Monaco, the organisers of the Monaco Grand Prix, have decided to cancel the race, marking the first time since 1954 that F1 will not race in Monaco.
"The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the FIA F1 World Championships 2020, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams, the consequences with regard to the differing measures of confinement as taken by various governments worldwide, the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff, who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1,500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable," a statement from ACM read.
"As a result, and after careful consideration as to the gravity of this crisis worldwide, it is with great sadness that the AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE MONACO Board of Directors has taken the decision to cancel the 12TH GRAND PRIX DE MONACO HISTORIQUE (8-10 May 2020) and the 78TH GRAND PRIX DE MONACO FORMULA 1, FIA World Championship (21-24 May 2020).
"To all the fans, spectators, partners and our members, the Board of Directors wishes to express its sincere regrets that these two events cannot be postponed and under no circumstances, will it be possible to organise these events later this year."