McLaren drivers back Chinese Grand prix delay over virus

SHOWS: WOKING NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (FEBRUARY 13, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. MCLAREN DRIVERS LANDO NORRIS AND CARLOS SAINZ AT CAR LAUNCH

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MCLAREN DRIVER CARLOS SAINZ SAYING:

"At the moment I think it's best for everyone to stay safe and I think Formula One can wait."

Reporter asking: The right decision to postpone?

"I think yes, when there's a health issue like this I think we just need to stay calm and to think that Formula One is not the only thing in the world. I say to everyone to stay healthy, to stay safe and just wait until it clears and then, don't worry, because I'm sure Formula One will be back in China."

3. NORRIS AND SAINZ WITH CAR

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MCLAREN DRIVER LANDO NORRIS SAYING:

"It is a shame because it's a race I enjoyed, well the race didn't go very well, but it's a fantastic track to drive. So now the fact that we're not going is a big shame but safety comes above everything for Formula One and Mclaren and for me as a driver, so of course the right decision has been made."

5. DRIVERS WITH CAR


STORY: Formula One's decision to postpone the Chinese Grand Prix because of the coronavirus outbreak received the backing of Mclaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris on Thursday (February 13).

Speaking at the launch of the British based team's car for the 2020 racing season, both said it was a question of safety coming before their sport.

Although the April 19 race in Shanghai has been put on hold, the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix set for April 5 in Hanoi is to go ahead as planned.

A host of international sporting events have been cancelled due to coronavirus, including the all-electric Formula E motor racing series that abandoned plans for a race in the Chinese city of Sanya next month.

The fast-spreading virus has killed 1,370 people and infected about 60,000, nearly all in China, after it first emerged in the central city of Wuhan late last year.