In a fashion similar to other sports, the Formula 1 cancelled the opening Grand Prix of the season scheduled to hold in Australia on Friday, 13th of March.
This would be the second action taken by the body in charge after the Chinese GP, which was supposed to supposed to hold in April, was postponed without a new date. All of these moves are connected to the coronavirus sweeping around the world.
However, the cancellation of the Australian GP became imminent after a member of the McLaren team showed symptoms and tested positive for the virus. This caused the company to pull out of the event as 14 of their members also had to be quarantined.
This led to a meeting among the FIA, Formula 1, and the other nine teams. In the meeting, the majority of the nine teams voted for the event not to continue.
According to a statement by Formula 1, all ticket holders would receive a full refund with a full statement to be communicated in due time. Formula 1 star, Lewis Hamilton, expressed his surprise on preparations still being made towards the race as at Thursday, given the situation of things worldwide.
But the Australian GP is not the only thing in jeopardy as the Bahrain and Vietnam GP have also been postponed. The races, scheduled to hold on March 22 and April 5 respectively, were in between the already cancelled Australian GP and the postponed Chinese GP.
A statement released said the postponement was a result of decisions to “ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans.” Going further, they added that expect the new season to begin by the end of May but “this will be regularly reviewed.”
An update by Zak Brown, the chief executive of McLaren, informed that the infected team member was recovering and showed “no symptoms” of the virus. However, the remaining quarantined staff remain so for 14 days.
Written by: Leon Osamor