Vietnam GP insists race will go ahead amid coronavirus fears

Vietnam Grand Prix organisers are have said that the race is still scheduled to go ahead on April 5 as planned. Vietnam Grand Prix

Vietnam Grand Prix organisers have insisted the country's debut Formula One race will go ahead as planned despite the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

Hanoi will host Vietnam's first grand prix on April 5, two weeks before the Chinese Grand Prix was supposed to take place -- the Shanghai event has been postponed due to the spread of the flu-like virus. In that instance the race promoter asked F1 to postpone the event.

There have been suggestions Vietnam, which shares a boarder with China, might be forced to do something similar.

Le Ngoc Chi, CEO of the Vietnam Grand Prix Corporation, said on Wednesday: "Preparations for the race are going according to the set schedule. The F1 race in Hanoi in 2020 will take place as planned. We are of course monitoring the situation closely and will notify customers and media should there be any changes."

Vietnam also announced it has completed the 5.607-kilometre Hanoi circuit.

Logistic questions continue to mount ahead of F1's opening races, which are 'flyaways' in Australia, Bahrain and Vietnam. On Tuesday Bahrain's civil aviation authority suspended all flights arriving from Dubai for 48 hours. Bahrain has reported 26 cases of the virus.

Ferrari has restricted all non-critical business travel. The company's F1 team is based at Maranello, in a region currently affected by Europe's largest outbreak of coronavirus. There have been more than 300 cases and 12 deaths in Italy so far.

McLaren's F1 team has also limited access to its paddock hospitality at Formula One's preseason tests in Barcelona to anyone who has visited China in the past two weeks, as part of measures to combat the spread of the virus.