The past couple of days in Formula One have been hectic to say the least. One McLaren employee turned un a positive coronavirus test. So, the Woking outfit promptly packed their bags and pulled out of the race. This obviously led to a lot of uncertainty about the race going ahead without McLaren. However, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen got a head start in packing up and leaving.
Evidently, they realised that they were risking their lives with something that they have limited control over. F1 drivers already risk their lives out on track, especially when they have a fast car under them which is capable of crashing and causing injury. However, a global pandemic is a whole new ball-game and drivers have to rely on information on health experts and the authorities.
— Motorsport Broadcasting (@f1broadcasting) March 12, 2020
However, while F1 decided the Australian Grand Prix’s fate, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were not sticking around for an obvious decision. So, the Ferrari and the Alfa Romeo driver left the circuit and caught the first flight back home.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were not the only ones
It later transpired that Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc had the same idea, and they left the Albert Park circuit as well. Much later, the FIA decided that it was not worth the risk to endanger the lives of the drivers, team staff, the fans or themselves. In a meeting, teams voted on whether to continue or cancel the race.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, McLaren and Renault were dead set against racing on Sunday. However, the likes of Mercedes, Racing Point, Williams, Red Bull, AlphaTauri and Haas stood in the way. Mercedes later backtracked after the Mercedes bosses indicated to him that racing was not viable.
Strangely enough, Haas F1 sided with those who wanted to race. This is because, most of their crew members underwent test for the coronavirus. While they were cleared, there was still a huge risk of spreading the virus further. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and the FIA elected not to go ahead with the race weekend.