Williams: Coronavirus is 'incredibly serious situation' for F1

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Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says Formula 1 must be incredibly "responsible and responsive" in how it handles the coronavirus crisis given the massive challenges at hand.

As countries across the world deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, travel restrictions and border controls are severely disrupting F1's logistics for the opening three rounds of the 2020 world championship.

No races have been cancelled yet, but the pressure is building on F1 following the latest travel restrictions imposed by Bahrain and Vietnam, which include an entry ban in those countries for all foreign nationals travelling from a selection of countries, including Italy where many members of the F1 community reside.

As the fluid situation comes to a head, Williams insists on a responsible response from F1's chiefs that takes into account the safety of the sport's members and its fans.

"It's an incredibly serious situation," said Williams at a ROKiT sponsor event in London on Monday.

"Being a global sport travelling around the world with thousands and thousands of people, and that doesn't take into account the number of fans travelling as well, there's so much movement that we've got to be incredibly responsible and enormously responsive as well."

Williams echoed Red Bull team boss Christian Horner's assessment of the crisis which he described as eveolving by the hour.

"At the moment it is a moving target," added Williams. "We're clearly keeping in touch with the relevant authorities, with F1 as well, and taking the guidance as it's coming.

"But it is changing literally by the hour at the moment.

"It's quite a difficult management piece, when you're thinking about F1 and the number of personnel that you're taking to a race.

"Plus the amount of kit that you're putting on air freight and sea freight, and the cost involved in all of that.

"We want to go racing at the end of the day, but we've got to make sure that we keep our people safe in doing that. We will just continue to take the guidance as and when it comes through."

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