The Bahrain Grand Prix is now facing a logistical nightmare for the Formula 1 teams, due to new travel restrictions imposed into the Kingdom.
Bahrain has become the latest country on the Formula 1 calendar to impose travel restrictions which will have a bearing on the opening flyaway races. The Kingdom has imposed travel restrictions upon ‘foreign nationals who have travelled to Italy, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea in the 14 days prior to their landing’ – these passengers will not be granted access into the country.
The restrictions are temporary, but haven’t got a listed end date.
Bahrain joins Vietnam in having travel restrictions affecting Formula 1 personnel, with Vietnam imposing a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon travellers arriving from Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Formula 1 is set to race in Melbourne, Australia, on March 15th – a race that the organisers say is going ahead. However, with connecting flights coming through the Middle East, it’s a bit of a hurdle for the teams just to make it there – particularly for Ferrari and Alpha Tauri as they travel from Italy.
From Australia, the teams fly straight to Bahrain for the back-to-back race at Sakhir – now seemingly impossible to field a full field due to these restrictions.
“Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out at the beginning of the year and, to date, has mainly affected China, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant,” the FIA said in a statement on Tuesday – an unchanged position from the past few days.
“The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public.”
Meanwhile, FIM and Dorna have confirmed the cancellation of Moto GP’s opening round in Qatar, with the Thailand round indefinitely postponed. The Superbike round in Qatar has also been postponed.