McLaren announced Thursday that they are withdrawing from the Australian Grand Prix after one of their crew members tested positive for Coronavirus.
It was a shocking announcement from the standpoint the sport rarely sees teams withdraw from the race weekend. This perhaps is not a surprising development as many were surprised F1 was going forward with plans to run the race.
McLaren made their decision out of an abundance of caution. If one crew member has it there is a high likelihood that another team member has it. That’s a distraction you can’t have on a race weekend and not a situation you can risk putting your drivers in.
Formula 1 said last week that if a team can’t participate in a race that race weekend would become a non-championship round. Meaning the race would be run but no points would be awarded. F1’s statement at that point was aimed at a team not being allowed into a country because of restrictions. There hasn’t been any groundwork laid for what McLaren did by pulling themselves from the race.
What About The Australian Grand Prix
Currently, the race is still on.
As it stands this is how the decisions are being made in Australia.
F1 says it’s up to Australia.
Australia says it’s up to F1.
FIA says it’s up to F1 or Australia.
No one wants to cancel the opening round. There are literally millions of dollars on the line and a gigantic headache for everyone involved awaiting them if they cancel the opening round.
There’s a strong chance this race doesn’t happen and it’s probably for the best. Unfortunately.
We want to see racing as much as everyone else but the best way to get rid of this virus is by eliminating the spread of the virus. Large gatherings of people aren’t ideal at the moment.
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