Only three teams were ready to race at the Australian Grand Prix amid coronavirus fears.
After multiple meetings and discussions, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation cancelled all Formula One activity mere hours before the opening practice session.
Red Bull Racing, AlphaTauri and Racing Point were the only teams who agreed to race while the remaining six opted against doing so.
McLaren had already confirmed their withdrawal of the event in the early hours of the morning when it was announced that a team member had been infected with COVID-19.
According to reports from motorsport.com, most of the teams wanted to cancel the race, but Christian Horner, Franz Tost and Otmar Szafnauer said their teams would take part unless the authorities say that the race can’t run in health grounds.
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team, who were strongly opposed to having the race go ahead, addressed a letter to the FIA acknowledging their wishes to have the race cancelled.
“In light of the force majeure events we are experiencing with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, we no longer feel the safety of our employees can be guaranteed if we continue to take part in the event,”read the letter.
“We empathise strongly with the worsening situation in Europe, most especially in Italy, and furthermore we do not feel it would be right to participate in an event where fellow competitors such as McLaren are unable to do so through circumstances beyond their control.”
The event came under jeopardy well before the race weekend when concerns developed about whether Ferrari, AlphaTauri and Pirelli would be able to travel from their bases in Italy to Melbourne.
The race becomes the first Grand Prix to be cancelled since the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix which was postponed and eventually annulled due to civil unrest.
The Formula One paddock now heads to Bahrain which has already been confirmed will be held behind closed doors.