BREAKING | McLaren F1 team withdraws from 2020 Australian GP

McLaren F1 team. Image: TeamTalk
McLaren F1 team. Image: TeamTalk

The coronavirus takes its first casualty among teams as McLaren announced its withdrawal from the opening race of the 2020 season.

Teams and drivers have gathered in Melbourne for the Australian GP under a cloud of doubt as coronavirus fears spread like a veldfire throughout the paddock. McLaren, one of the cornerstone teams in Formula 1, had a team member test positive for the coronavirus.

McLaren said in a statement: "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."

Other teams like Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, who hail from Italy, are also under suspicion, given that Italy is the second most infected country after China.

Though both teams have made their way to Australia, it comes as a shock that it was a non-Italian team who is the first to suffer under the coronavirus.

Will the race continue?

The big question following McLaren's withdrawal is whether or not the Australian GP will continue or not. In short, the race will take place, but the FIA might consider a number of factors.

Because all teams made their way to Australia, the race will go ahead. The FIA and Liberty Media (F1 owners) announced earlier in March that if one team can't be allowed into Australia, the race will not go ahead. F1 is a team sport and every constructor plays a role in the success thereof.

READ: Coronavirus - Why the 14-day quarantine period?

McLaren's announcement should not result in the race weekend being called off, because teams are allowed to withdraw from a race out of their own accord. McLaren's decision was in the best interest of the team and the broader F1. Unless an announcement from the FIA states otherwise, this weekend's Australian GP will continue.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Do you think Lewis Hamilton deserves to be knighted by the Queen?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, he is an incredible athlete
36% - 138 votes
No, he hasn't done anything special
21% - 81 votes
He is good, but doesn't deserve the honour
42% - 161 votes
Vote