Horner casts doubt on November Chinese GP as another circuit offers to replace it

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Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has cast doubt on the prospect of rescheduling the Chinese Grand Prix until November.

The race in Shanghai has been postponed due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak but Liberty Media has suggested holding a two-day race weekend on November 21-22, between the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GP's.

"It depends where we are in the championship, if you’re in the lead you don’t want that many races at the end of the year, if you’re not you want as many as you can have," Horner smiled via GPToday when asked about the idea.

"No, but in all seriousness, you’ve got to look at the logistics of it. It’s a tough calendar this year and if it were to go Brazil/China/Abu Dhabi, that’s a big ask at that time of the year from all of the staff. So we’d have to look at that and consider that very carefully."

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If the Chinese event is cancelled until 2021, that could potentially open up the April 19 date for a replacement venue to fill.

Already, Imola has made its interest known and now another Italian circuit, Mugello, has thrown its name into the ring.

“We have proposed to replace the Chinese GP, the circuit meets all the required standards and on March 1 we will present the official candidature,” said Federico Ignesti, mayor of the nearby municipality of Scarperia and San Piero via Grand Prix 24/7.

“The ownership of the circuit is already making preparatory investments for an entry in the Formula 1 calendar in the coming years.

"The good luck is not only for the Mugello circuit but for the whole of Italy to have two Formula 1 Grands Prix."

In recent days, however, Italy has found itself at the centre of the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe with 322 cases and 11 deaths confirmed in the north of the country.

And as Horner explained, depending on the location, adding a previously unplanned for trip brings its own challenges.

"It’s a tricky one because we end up with a gap in the calendar with a weekend either side of it," the Red Bull boss said. 

"There are circuits that have shown interest but it’s getting pretty late in the day to agree an additional race to fill that gap, for the promoter and certainly for the teams.

"It depends on where it is. If it’s flyway, sea freight for a lot of the races have already left by now for the first races in the calendar."