McLaren have confirmed they are withdrawing from the Australian Grand Prix after a member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus.
All ten Formula 1 teams arrived in Melbourne earlier this week to participate in the first race of the 2020 season at Albert Park Circuit.
Unfortunately, on Thursday McLaren released a statement announcing that they would not take part in the event – including the drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
The statement read “McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus. 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 their decision. The decision has been taken out of a humanitarian duty not only to the Formula One McLaren Family but also to other Formula 1 teams, the Formula 1 fans who religiously attend every race to support their teams amidst zooming cars at full throttle, and also a wide set of Formula 1 stakeholders who may incur losses if anything goes awry.
Formula 1 issued a statement saying: “Following the outcome of the test on a member the McLaren team, Formula 1 and the FIA have been in close contact with them on their decision and 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.”