F1 should never have travelled to Australia - Raikkonen

Image:  / AFP
Image: / AFP
Wang Zhao

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1 should never have traveled to Australia last month for the ultimately cancelled 2020 season opener.

The sport's current total shutdown began in Melbourne exactly one month ago, when Formula 1 descended on the city but then cancelled at the last minute when a McLaren team member tested positive for coronavirus.

Raikkonen, the oldest and most experienced driver in F1, was among the very first to leave Melbourne.

Asked by France's Auto Hebdo if he supported the decision to cancel the race, the Finn said: "There was no other option.

"I just regret what happened in light of what was happening in Europe. It was more than likely that such a scenario would occur," Raikkonen, 40, added.

"There is no doubt that the decision could have been made earlier. All of the people in the paddock, and it is a lot of people, came from Europe and so there was a good chance that someone would get contaminated in an airport, on a plane or somewhere else.  

"That's what happened," he said.

"We shouldn't have gone, but the decision was not ours.  We drivers follow what the FIA and F1 decide.  If there is a race, we go there."

As for what will happen next, Raikkonen is not sure.  "This is brutal for everyone, not just for F1," he said.

"Right now, the most important thing is that people remain healthy, but once the pandemic is over, the time will come for questions.

"I hope that something positive will eventually emerge from all of this, but for the moment we can only keep going and protect ourselves," said the Alfa Romeo driver.

Raikkonen said he is currently staying at home with his family.

"As I am well away from everything, I can even continue to do my motocross," he revealed. "So it's not a problem.  I do more or less what I do in the winter or between races.  It hasn't really changed."

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