Red Bull Reveal that F1 Toyed With the Idea of a Paddock Lockdown

Published 03/14/2020, 7:40 AM EDT


The Australian Grand Prix has officially been cancelled, but some teams were fighting to have the race run its course. According to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, one pitched idea was a total lockdown of the F1 paddock in Melbourne.

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Problems arose when a McLaren employee tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, and the team promptly withdrew. That decision triggered a meeting between the FIA and the teams, which led to the race’s cancellation.

Red Bull was one of three teams who were willing to race, or run on Friday before making a final decision. The race weekend would have carried on if no additional team members tested positive for the COVID-19 disease.

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“We were minded to monitor the situation,” Horner told Motorsport.com, “The local health authority was giving the go-ahead for the event, the FIA were giving the go-ahead. There was a majority that were in favour of running and doing more screening today [Friday] in the event of any more outbreaks.

How did the FIA and the F1 teams reach a decision?

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All 10 team bosses met with F1 managing director Ross Brawn to cast a vote on the issue. Admittedly, Haas and Williams abstained, and the vote split between the remaining 8 teams. Mercedes, Red Bull, AlphaTauri and Racing Point were in favour of going racing. However, the reigning champions soon switched sides and supported Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Renault.

Initially, Red Bull expressed frustration of losing out on racing. In retrospect, they realised that cancelling the GP became the right call. Cancelling the race is the only logical solution. Especially with the health and safety risks linked to the maintaining the event.

“It’s obviously frustrating,” Horner continued, “The situation globally is changing hour-by-hour and day-by-day. When we arrived in Australia the intention was to go racing. Unfortunately following the positive test of a person within the paddock the decision was made to cancel the event. Ultimately the safety and wellbeing of staff, the fans and the paddock is hugely important.”

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Along with Australia, the likes of Bahrain and Vietnam, have also been placed in serious doubt. More badd news comes in the form of the situation in Spain and Italy worsening.

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Dhruv George

11601 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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