"No suggestion whatsoever" Australian GP put F1 in danger

The Australian Grand Prix chief is confident Formula 1 was not put in danger by its visit to Melbourne prior to the race's cancellation after a paddock coronavirus diagnosis.

"No suggestion whatsoever" Australian GP put F1 in danger

Officials from F1, the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation announced on Friday the race had been cancelled after a McLaren team member tested positive for coronavirus the previous evening.

The decision was confirmed less than two hours before the first F1 practice session was meant to start after initial hopes of the event still going ahead, even if behind closed doors.

F1 officials had considered a paddock lockdown and introducing extra precautions to allay fears of the infection spreading that would have allowed Friday's running to continue as planned.

But the idea failed to get majority support from teams, paving the way for the event to be cancelled.

AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott explained how closely the race organisers had worked with local health authorities, noting the fast-changing nature of the situation.

"Melbourne and Victoria has a chief health officer that feeds into a national body of chief health officers, who feed into a committee and all the way up to the national security committee, chaired up by the prime minister," Westacott said.

"We have taken guidance from that committee, and their input has been crucial. We had that additional advice that indicated that the event would be cancelled.

"It's important to note that Victoria hosted a massive event last weekend, the World T20 Women's Final at the MCG, which hosted 86,000 fans. So this is a fluid situation that emerges and changes on a day to day basis."

Read Also:

Westacott stressed there was zero indication any fans or F1 staff had been put in danger by the decision to not cancel the race earlier.

"There's no suggestion of that whatsoever," he said.

"The advice and input from the chief medical officer of the Victorian government took into account not only the test results from the eight teams that were submitted and the one positive, but it also takes into account what's happening in the localised society.

"When they made the decision that they did, it was based on all the inputs and the medical evidence that they had, and which we have taken all along.

"It was clearly the right decision to make, and we are where we are."

F1 came under fire for its lack of information or decisions in the build-up to the race weekend, with six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton saying it was "shocking" that they planned to race.

But F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey said the situation had "changed rapidly" in the space of a few days.

"You go back and look four days ago, you had very different situations around the world, whether in Europe or the US," Carey said. "It is an evolving situation. All those facts are part of what we deal with.

"There were other individuals being tested here. Clearly the situation here was very different than it was on Sunday, as Andrew said, when you had an event with close to 100,000 people.

"You do have to realise we're a sport traveling around the world that really started to move everything here last weekend. There is the lead time to what we do.

"In hindsight, it obviously looks different, but when things were changing as rapidly as they were, I think we were dealing with it in real time."

shares
comments
How outspoken Hamilton again showed he's F1's moral leader

Previous article

How outspoken Hamilton again showed he's F1's moral leader

Next article

Pirelli F1 member tests positive for coronavirus in Australia

Pirelli F1 member tests positive for coronavirus in Australia
Load comments
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Prime

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Prime

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021