FIA sets up "crisis cell" to monitor coronavirus situation

The FIA has set up a "crisis cell" to oversee its reaction to the developing coronavirus outbreak, amid further threats to motor racing events

While motor racing's governing body has long stated it was monitoring the situation, it has stepped up its efforts with a committee that will hold meetings on every other day to discuss matters regarding the virus.

In a statement issued by the World Motor Sport Council on Friday, it said the decision to create the cell was in response to feedback from Professor Gerard Saillant, who is president of the FIA medical commission and has been evaluating things for several weeks.

The FIA said: "An FIA Crisis Cell has been established and convenes every second day to consider the latest developments around the world.

"The FIA continues to closely monitor the situation and its implications, together with its Member Clubs and Promoters, and follows the advice of relevant authorities including Governments and the World Health Organization.

"The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming competitions and take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public, including the postponement of competitions where necessary."

Two rounds of Formula E - one in China and one in Italy - have already been called off, but the Formula 1 season opener in Australia next week is still due to take place.

F1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said earlier this week that the sport could not simply stop because of the coronavirus.

"I think the key thing is to try and maintain the sport in the safest possible way," he said. "We can't take unnecessary risks, but we can't just shut down completely."

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