Following the cancellation of individual races, Formula E and the FIA have now announced that the 2019/20 season will be completely suspended for at least two months due to the Covid 19 spread. Even after that a resumption is not guaranteed.
The current health crisis poses a challenge for the organisation of events in the city centres, the race series said as the reason for this. The decision had been taken in consultation with the local authorities. “With the well-being of staff, spectators and the entire championship workforce being the number one priority, precautionary measures put in place will restrict races from running during a set timeframe,” the statement said.
As a result of the suspension, it will not be possible to race in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta. The race in Jakarta had already been postponed indefinitely beforehand, as the organisers felt that the scheduled date of 6 June could not be kept. Also the race in Rome, which was planned for April 4, had already been cancelled, as had the ePrix in Sanya, China.
The races in Paris (18 April) and Seoul (3 May) were questionable so far, but had not yet been cancelled or postponed. Also an alternative, which has been discussed in the meantime, is not going to happen: Formula E had considered to hold a race without spectators on April 4 (the original Rome date) at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo not far from Valencia. The permanent circuit would have been a departure from the usual rounds in city centres, but not an unknown quantity for the teams: The Spanish circuit was also the venue for the pre-season tests.
Now, due to the announced interruption, the alternative race will not take place either. In order to make the planning for a resumption of the season more transparent, Formula E together with the world federation FIA is using a kind of traffic light system (or, in analogy to racing, the flag signals that are common there): The individual colours should help to determine different phases and time windows in which the races could be re-sorted or remain unchanged.
Red stands for no races, yellow means that there are possibilities, and green means that things are going as planned. The months of March and April are marked with red flags, while May is currently categorized as yellow. June and July could be given a green flag if the situation improves and stabilises – but as the ePrix in Jakarta has already been postponed, the race on 6 June is uncertain. In cooperation with the FIA and the local authorities at the respective venues, Formula E will closely monitor the situation and examine possibilities to organise and reschedule races after the temporary suspension.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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