Health Minister Could Still be Cancelling the Australian Grand Prix

Published 03/12/2020, 7:15 AM EDT


In the last 24 hours, a number of F1 personnel from various teams have been taken ill. Worryingly, if one member tests positive, the 2020 Australian Grand Prix could be cancelled immediately.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On Thursday, five more members underwent testing and placed in quarantine. This sparked fears that they may have contracted the virus. Three others had taken the same precaution on Wednesday.

Of the new victims, four of them hail from Haas and one from McLaren. All 5 team personnel are now awaiting test results ahead of the Friday practice sessions. According to Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, the latest quarantined staff informed him that they were feeling unwell.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Speaking to the media, Steiner said, “It’s four in total, one engineer and I think three mechanics. We should collect the results in the afternoon.”<

“At the moment we can cope … the most impact for me is that I hope that they are well and this afternoon that they just have a cold and can come back and work tomorrow.”

What does this mean for the 2020 Australian Grand Prix?

What Liberty Media and Formula One fears is that there is a possibility of a cancellation. Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton warned that if Albert Park reported any positive tests, it could stop the race from going ahead.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Speaking to Melbourne radio station 3AW, Sutton said, “If (the tests) turn up positive, we need to consider what it means for their close contacts and if they have a number of close contacts across a number of crews, then those individuals need to be quarantined.

On the other hand, Australian Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott insists that they will not follow Bahrain’s example. In other words, they will not impose a spectator ban at Albert Park.

Furthermore, the coronavirus concerns did little to dampen spirits as fans. Apparently, they turned up to watch other series duke it out on track.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

According to Sutton, banning spectators from the Melbourne race would not serve any purpose. He believes that the crowds will not shoulder the blame. He concluded, “Three hundred thousand come every day to the city to work – that’s a mass gathering. Public transport is a mass gathering every day.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Dhruv George

11606 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT