Formula E has announced that it is suspending all races in the 2019-2020 calendar for the next two months as a response to the coronavirus crisis. 

It means the Paris and Seoul E-Prixs will be postponed, joining previously canned races in Sanya, Rome and inaugural Jakarta round, the latter of which was confirmed on Wednesday. 

The Paris E-Prix was due to take place on April 18, with a first-ever race in Seoul set to follow on May 3, but both events have now been abandoned amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

Formula E is implementing a red flag system to determine different phases and time windows where races could be rearranged or remain unaffected, with March and April marked as red flags, with May currently categorised as a yellow flag and both June and July currently on green flags.

“Right now is the time to take responsible actions and this is why we have decided to temporarily suspend the season and move forward with introducing measures to freeze races from taking place over the next two months," said Formula E founder and CEO Alejandro Agag.

"Motorsport plays a major part in our lives and it is important, but what is more important is the health and safety of our staff, fans and their families, as well as citizens in the cities we race. 

"The ABB FIA Formula E Championship will be back in full force, once the ongoing health crisis and spread of COVID- 19 has subsided.”

 

COVID-19 has now officially been labelled as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) after the number of cases outside of China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks. 

Over 134,918 people have been affected globally by the flu-like virus, which has resulted in nearly 5,000 deaths.

Italy and France are the two worst-affected European countries, prompting the postponement of races in Rome and Paris respectively with Italy now in a full-scale lockdown.

Meanwhile, South Korea - the host country of the seventh round of the 2019-20 campaign - has nearly 8000 cases and 71 deaths.  

It is understood Formula E was hoping to pencil in a behind closed doors double-header at its testing venue in Valencia but the continued rise of cases of coronavirus in Spain has led to such plans being withdrawn for the time being. 

Following the Marrakesh round on February 29, the next race currently unaffected on the Formula E calendar is the Berlin E-Prix in Germany, which is due to take place on June 21. 

 

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