Ferrari F1 Pulled Out of the Australian GP Even Before It Was Cancelled, Reveal Reports

Published 03/14/2020, 8:25 AM EDT


In the early hours of the Grand Prix weekend, the FIA announced that the Australian GP would not go ahead as scheduled. Prior to this, the McLaren team pulled out after one of their members came down with the coronavirus.

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All teams then met with the FIA and voted on continuing the race or cancelling it. Aside from McLaren, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Renault chose to cancel. Haas and Williams were undecided, while Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Mercedes wanted to race.

However, it was note-worthy that regardless of the decision, Ferrari would not have taken to the track. In light of the McLaren news, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto began to wonder whether racing was a good idea. In the end, he decided not to risk the health of the Ferrari team members.

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Further backing the decision were their drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. The two drivers, along with Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton left for the airport long before the official race cancellation.

According to the FIA rules, as stated in article 5.7: “An event can be canceled if fewer than 12 single-seaters are deployed on the track.”

Though if we’re being honest, it does little to explain the debacle that was the 2005 US Grand Prix.

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How did the Australian GP decision play out?

Ferrari, McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Renault were not budging, which would have reduced the field to 12 cars. However, Mercedes soon changed their stance once Toto Wolff received a call from Daimler boss Ola Kallenius. Their initial plan was to assess the situation during the the two Friday free practice sessions. At the end of the day, they would take a call on what to do next.

Until Mercedes became turncoats, the two sides were locked in a stalemate and Haas and Williams were willing to join a majority. Finally, the cancellation party won and the FIA formalised the Australian GP cancellation.

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Coming back to Ferrari though, if the race was greenlit, they would have had to recall Vettel and Leclerc from the airport. Similarly, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes would have had to recall Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

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Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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