Johannesburg Formula One fan festival postponed

Jamie Woodhouse
Reverse-grid sprint races back on the tab for 2020.

Reverse-grid sprint races back on the tab for 2020.

A Formula One fan festival scheduled to take place in Johannesburg at the end of March has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, which was scheduled for March 29, was set to feature Mercedes, Red Bull and Renault.

Valtteri Bottas and David Coulthard, who took part in a promotional show run with Red Bull in South Africa last year, were among the drivers and ex-F1 stars set to attend.

“Due to the ongoing global situation regarding Covid-19, the Heineken F1 Joburg Festival due to take place on the 29th March has been postponed to protect the safety of all fans and participants attending the event,” an F1 statement read.

The event has only been postponed and the intention is to reschedule it for a later date.

F1’s director of marketing and communications, Ellie Norman, added: “Following the announcement from the World Health Organisation categorising Covid-19 as a pandemic earlier this week, we have made the unfortunate decision to postpone the festival.

“Our fans’ health and safety is paramount and whist we know this decision will be disappointing for our fans we believe this is the right decision at this time.

“We would like to thank all our partners and those involved in making the event happen, and we are fully committed to returning to bring the excitement of F1 back to South Africa.”

This is the latest in a series of cancellations for Formula 1 – this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix was called off just hours before FP1 was set to start following a series of meetings after a McLaren employee tested positive for the virus.

The following races in Bahrain and Vietnam were also postponed while the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco GPs are now also under serious threat of postponement.

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