Australian racing fans will have to wait another year to watch the F1 cars hit the track in Melbourne.
Formula 1 has announced that this year’s Australian Grand Prix will not go ahead because of coronavirus fears. The McLaren team withdrew earlier in the week, after a team member tested positive for the virus.
“The FIA and Formula 1 convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening,” the joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA and the Australia Grand Prix Corporation said. “Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead. The FIA and Formula 1, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix is cancelled.”
Racing fans had already begun queuing outside the Albert Park venue when they were initially told that the start time had been delayed. It wasn’t until 90 minutes after the gates were set to open that the announcement was made that the race had been cancelled.
The Mercedes team, currently the reigning world champions, had already requested that the event be called off.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team has today sent a letter to the FIA and F1 requesting the cancellation of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix,” the team said in a statement. “We no longer feel the safety of our employees can be guaranteed if we continue to take part in the event.”
The race is the latest public event to get the axe, as Soccer World Cup qualifying matches are held in empty stadiums and conferences across the world are cancelled or postponed.
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