One of the many things we were looking forward to this year on GTPlanet was Igor Fraga’s debut in the FIA Formula 3 championship.
The GT Sport world champion from 2018 stood to turn out for Charouz Racing System in the F1 feeder series, after winning the Toyota Racing Series earlier this year. However, the universe has had other ideas, and Fraga’s debut is on hold for now. It’s as a result of, you guessed it, coronavirus.
This comes as fallout from yesterday’s decision to cancel the F1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend. After McLaren withdrew from the race due to a confirmed case of the COVID-19 disease in a member of the team, the race’s suspension seemed inevitable. However it took F1 almost eight hours to make the call, even as the crowd was arriving at the circuit for free practice.
The sport has more rapidly decided that neither the Bahrain Grand Prix next week, nor the first Vietnamese Grand Prix after it, can go ahead as planned, and postponed both. Of course the Chinese Grand Prix was already in race purgatory following the coronavirus outbreak in the country over the winter.
Due to the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA, and race organisers a decision has been taken by all parties to postpone the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Vietnam Grand Prix due to take place on March 20-22 and April 3-5 respectively#F1 pic.twitter.com/btpFLckwtO
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 13, 2020
Both FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 are support series for F1, and so meet the same fate. The first race in both series was due to take place in Bahrain next weekend, but that’s not going to be possible now.
Speaking on social media, Fraga commented:
“Unfortunately the event was postponed and will have to wait longer to make debut on the category I believe it’s the right decision with the worldwide situation we are now at the moment… Hoping everyone stay safe.”
F1 is reassessing the entire 2020 calendar at present. The F3 series is scheduled for its second round at the new Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort on May 2/3, but the coronavirus crisis is only deepening in Europe at the moment and this may also end up postponed.
We’ll bring you more information when it is available.
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