In recent months a number of sporting events, including the NBA, tennis matches, and a number of football games have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Now, it seems as though the F1 are on the verge of cancelling the Australian GP.
Team McLaren has announced they will not be taking part in the race due to a staff member testing positive for the coronavirus.
The team statement reads as follows- “McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus. The team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and will now be treated by local healthcare authorities.”
McLaren withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix after a team member contracts coronavirushttps://t.co/DCckpvJQA0
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 12, 2020
Just hours earlier, six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton described the decision to go ahead with the Australian Grand Prix as “shocking” in an interview at the Albert Park media centre on Thursday.
“It is great we have races but for me, it is shocking that we are all sitting in this room. There are so many fans already here today. It seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late.”
McLaren says that they have prepared for this eventuality and are working closely with the relevant local authorities to assist in their investigation.
Along with Hamilton, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was left baffled as to why the entire race was not postponed, saying “It’s nothing to do with us, that it’s like this, I don’t know if it’s the right thing that we are here. Probably not, but it’s not up to us, it’s not our decision. I think if it would be purely all the teams’ decision we probably wouldn’t be here.”