No Formula 1 in 2020? Motorsports panicking after McLaren pull out of Australian GP
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton had earlier questioned the governing body's decision to carry on with the races despite the growing coronavirus threat
The novel coronavirus has brought almost all major sporting events across the world as governments try hard to control it from spreading wide. The latest entrant into the COVID-19 discussion is Formula One with manufacturers McLaren pulling out of the Australian grand prix -- the first race of the 2020 season -- after one their stuff was tested positive with the coronavirus.
McLaren Racing withdraws from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. pic.twitter.com/BZvHVKQoev— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 12, 2020
A statement issued by the McLaren team on Thursday read: “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. The team is cooperating with the relevant local authorities to assist their investigations and analysis.”
Their CEO Zak Brown and Team Principal Andreas Seidl have informed Formula 1 and the FIA of the decision on Thursday evening, a day before the first practice session was to be held at Melbourne. But with teams working in close vicinity and often interacting with each other in pits, there is fear that other teams might have also caught the deadly virus. This could spark the end of a season that has not even started even though the Australian GP is scheduled to go through without English team.
Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton had earlier questioned the governing body's decision to carry on with the races despite the coronavirus threat.
“I am really very, very surprised we are here. 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," said the six-time world champion.
Well played Lewis Hamilton for having the balls to speak about the coronavirus. Says he's "surprised" the race is going ahead. And "shocking that we are all in this (press) room.". This is what makes a proper champion. Not any of this "we trust the FIA" PR speak.— Ben Hunt (@benjhunt) March 12, 2020
“It seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late. But already this morning we’ve seen (US President Donald) Trump shutting down the borders from Europe... we’re seeing the NBA has been suspended yet Formula One continues to go on," he said.
Formula 1 has already taken steps in races for the upcoming Bahrain GP and Chinese GP. The event in China stands indefinitely postponed while the Bahrain GP will take place without the audience.