Today, F1 put all rumours to rest by finally announcing the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix. As news of the cancellation broke out, several teams and drivers reacted via their social media handles. The general vibe among all the members of the paddock was that of relief and agreement with the FIA’s decision.
Lewis Hamilton stood by the decision to cancel the race. In his twitter post, the Briton expressed a level of regret but prioritized health over racing. The reigning World Champion emphasized on the uncertainty of the epidemic and urged fans to take necessary precautions.
Local hero Daniel Ricciardo regretted at being unable to race in front of his adoring fans. Thousands of Aussies fans turn up at Albert Park Circuit every year to cheer on the Australian driver. In his twitter post, Ricciardo was apologetic to the fans but expressed a level of understanding. Unfortunately, the Aussie will have to wait another year before impressing local fans with a good result.
Many hailed McLaren CEO Zak Brown for making the right choice. The American didn’t hesitate to withdraw McLaren from the race – a decision which was applauded by many. Brown’s leadership and priority skills definitely deserve a shout out.
Lando Norris felt ‘gutted’ at not being able to participate in the race. The Briton revealed that the team were employing necessary measures to prevent the disease from spreading. Norris also offered his thoughts and prayers to the affected team member and those around the world battling Coronavirus.
Several drivers such as Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Kevin Magnussen and George Russel reacted identically to the cancellation. Additionally, drivers expressed regret at not being able to race on Sunday. However, they expressed solidarity with the fans and prioritized health and safety above everything else.
According to a few reports, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen flew back home a few hours after McLaren pulled out of the race. As neither driver is particularly active on social media, this cannot be verified at the time.
F1 has now called off two races in the 2020 calendar. The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled as a closed-door event but with the latest developments the chances of a race actually happening are slim.