Australian Grand Prix – McLaren have confirmed their withdrawal from the race this weekend, following a confirmed case of coronavirus.
McLaren have made the decision to withdraw from this weekend’s season opener for the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship, following an outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus within their ranks.
On Wednesday, the team confirmed a single member of their team had gone into self-isolation and required testing for the virus due to their presented symptoms. Separately, Haas F1 Team also sent four of their staff members into isolation and for testing for the same reason.
On Thursday, Haas confirmed that none of their suspected cases had tested positive for COVID-19, but McLaren said their staff member had and, as a result, the entire team were withdrawing from the Australian Grand Prix.
“McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus.” said a short statement from the team. “The team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and will now be treated by local healthcare authorities.”
“The team has prepared for this eventuality and has ongoing support in place for its employee who will now enter a period of quarantine. The team is cooperating with the relevant local authorities to assist their investigations and analysis.”
“Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, and Andreas Seidl, Team Principal of McLaren F1, informed Formula 1 and the FIA of the decision this evening. The decision has been taken based on a duty of care not only to McLaren F1 employees and partners, but also to the team’s competitors, Formula 1 fans and wider F1 stakeholders.”
Formula 1 has responded with a short statement of their own, saying: “Formula 1 and the FIA have have been coordinating with all the relevant authorities on the next steps. Our priority is the safety of the fans, the teams and all personnel at the race.”