McLaren has pulled out from the first race of the Formula 1 season in Australia, thanks to a team member testing positive for the Coronavirus.
The employee was put into isolation after suffering from the symptoms, and was later tested positive for the virus after tests were carried out.
The following statement from McLaren explains that they’re withdrawing from the Australian GP:
“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 F1 and the FIA of the decision this evening.
“The decision has been taken based on the duty of care not only to McLaren F1, employees and partners, but also to the teams’ competitors, F1 fans and wider F1 stakeholders.”
Haas also tested four members of its team for the Coronavirus but thankfully their tests came back negative as confirmed on Friday night.
Other F1 teams and drivers have shown their frustration and surprise of being asked to continue amid the risks.
“I am very, very surprised that we are here,” said Lewis Hamilton, when asked by Autosport if he was comfortable with being at the grand prix.
“I think it’s great that we have races, but for me it’s shocking that we’re all sitting in this room.”
He was asked why he thought the FIA was so intent on carrying on with the race. “Cash is king,” he said. “But honestly I don’t know. I can’t really add much.”
The Grand Tour has also been foiled by the Coronavirus, with host Jeremy Clarkson admitting that they won’t be continuing to film until the virus has blown over.