Amid coronavirus outbreak across the world, Formula One has confirmed that this weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled.
The Australian Open, which was slated to take place on March 15 at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, has been cancelled a day after McLaren had withdrawn from the race when its team member was tested positive for coronavirus.
Formula One, governing body the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation issued an official statement confirming that they had come upon the decision to not go ahead with the race in Melbourne after a meeting with all the other nine team principles.
“Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead,” the statement said.
“Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix are cancelled,” F1 added.
The Formula One further confirmed that all ticket holders would receive a full refund and a further announcement in this regard will be made in due course.
On Thursday, McLaren took to their official Twitter handle to announce that they are pulling out of the Australian Grand Prix after a team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as he started to show symptoms of coronavirus.
However, the British-based team did not reveal details about the member.
In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, a number of sporting events including the Tokyo Olympics slated to be played in July-August later this year have come under threat.
The Chinese Grand Prix, which was slated to take place in April, has been postponed while Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as per schedule but without spectators.