McLaren Formula One have pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix after one of the team’s employees tested positive for COVID19-.
A statement from the team read:
“McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus. 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.
“Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, and Andreas Seidl, Team Principal of McLaren F1, informed Formula 1 and the FIA of the decision this evening. 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.”
There is yet to be any official confirmation about the future of the race but senior sources have reported that the race may be jeopardy as it is set to be called off.
A statement issued by Formula 1 in reply read: “Following the outcome of the test on a member the McLaren team, Formula 1 and the FIA have been in close contact with them on their decision and have been coordinating with all the relevant authorities on the next steps. Our priority is the safety of the fans, the teams and all personnel at the race.”
F1 and the FIA have been criticised in their decision to hold the event despite the ongoing pandemic scares.
World Champion Lewis Hamilton voiced his concerns about the race saying he was ‘very, very surprised’ that the event was set to go ahead.
“I am very, very surprised that we are here,”said Hamilton.
“I think it’s great that we have races, but for me it’s shocking that we’re all sitting in this room.”
Teams now await an official confirmation concerning the future of the Grand Prix.