Following the announcement that one of the team members with McLaren Racing was tested positive with the COVID-19 Virus, Formula One has determined that the Australian Grand Prix must be cancelled. All ten outfits with F1 and the Formula International Association conveyed over a two-hour meeting within Melbourne. The nine-team principals concluded that for the safety of their employees and drivers, it’s best to cancel the race going forward. This decision was supported by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, with the official announcement being confirmed through Instagram and Twitter.
The Formula International Association expressed that for thousands of fans meant to be attending this venue, this is a disappointing announcement. Confirmation of the cancellation came three days before the venue was slated to begin. Those supporters will be provided with a full refund for their ticket purchases. It should be mentioned that Motorsport Australia also supported this decision, with the families and overall F1 Communities safety being the most important factor moving forward.
The Drivers Reactions
Multiple drivers have reacted in a professional and honourable manner following this announcement. Daniel Riccardo, the Australian native, expressed that he’s devastated for not having the opportunity to compete at his home Grand Prix. The Australian mentioned that this was the right decision though and believed that supporters could understand with the never-before-seen conditions with the coronavirus.
Lando Norris provided formal comments regarding this announcement, expressing that he’s “Gutted” for not having the chance to race. It was mentioned that everything was done to limit the spread and that his thoughts are with McLaren F1 team members. Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri was emotional towards the announcement, mentioning that he hopes everyone stays safe and that the COVID-19 Pandemic will become better shortly. His conditional thoughts were minimal towards the Australian Grand Prix, with concerns more regarding support safety.
For Esteban Ocon, the announcement of the Australian Grand Prix closure was most upsetting. It’s been more than twelve months since Ocon has had the opportunity to race. Following the COVID-19 Pandemic, this notable driver may have to wait an additional two to twelve months to race. He expressed through Twitter that he’s disappointed with the announcement but also believes it’s the best decision.