Formula One will discuss the status of April's Chinese Grand Prix on Wednesday as speculation mounts the event will be canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The April 19 event, the fourth on the 22-race 2020 F1 calendar, is currently looking uncertain to go ahead as planned -- the World Health Organisation has declared a world health emergency as the virus continues to emerge in new countries. Several sporting events have already been canceled, including Formula E's scheduled race in Sanya on March 21.
Further doubt was cast over the F1 race when the Shanghai Sports General Association called for all sporting bodies to suspend events until the threat of the outbreak is over and "formulate a plan for epidemic prevention to avoid internal infections."
"Organisations should also implement a daily hygiene management system and strengthen health education to urge employees to protect themselves," it added.
The outbreak of the flu-like virus has killed nearly 500 people and infected more than 25,000 in China after it first emerged in Wuhan in Hubei province late last year.
F1's teams will meet with series bosses and racing's governing body, the FIA, on Wednesday, during which the Shanghai race will be a major topic of discussion. Postponing the event is likely to be discussed as a scenario, but the congested calendar leaves few alternative dates for it to move to.
Speaking to media earlier this week, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said he backed F1 to make the right call.
"At the moment we couldn't send anyone because they couldn't get there," Horner is reported as saying by Autosport. "Look, the FIA is the regulator, Liberty [Media] is promoter. They are responsible for the health and well-being of not just the drivers in F1, but all the staff, and all of the travelling members of the media. And I'm sure they'll take the necessary due diligence before making any commitment about either delaying or postponing or cancelling the race. So we have to trust their judgement and their knowledge.
"But of course we keep a very close eye on the situation, which will be on the agenda on Wednesday's strategy meeting, where we will get the next update."
Were the race to be canceled, there would be a four-week break between the two brand-new races on the 2020 calendar -- the first-ever Vietnam Grand Prix on April 5 and the returning Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on May 3.