Australian Formula One Grand Prix Has Been Cancelled Due To Coronavirus Fears
The Australian Formula One Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
A statement from the sporting body said: "Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team's decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.
"Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix are cancelled.
"We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course."
Loads of people have lined up outside the gates, however they didn't open at 8:45 as planned.
Australian F1 boss Paul Little earlier confirmed the event would still be held, according to 7News, but after much discussion, it was decided that a cancellation was better for safety.
The whole McLaren Racing team pulled out last night after a team member tested positive for Covid-19.
McLaren Racing withdraws from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. pic.twitter.com/BZvHVKQoev
- McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 12, 2020
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The team released a statement late last night, which said: "The decision has been taken based on a duty of care not only to McLaren F1 employees and partners but also to the team's competitors, Formula 1 fans and wider F1 stakeholders.
"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.
"The team has prepared for this eventuality and has ongoing support in place for its employee who will now enter a period of quarantine."
Some of the sport's biggest stars weren't happy when Australian F1 didn't cancel the event then and there. Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton expressed he was really worried for his health.
"I am really very, very surprised that we are here," the Mercedes driver said.
"For me it is shocking that we are all sitting in this [press conference] room.
"It seems like the rest of the world is reacting...Formula One continues to go on - it's definitely concerning for me."
Featured Image Credit: PA