F1 Cancels Australian Grand Prix, McLaren Member Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix, at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Dec.1, 2019. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press

Formula 1 has decided to cancel all activity for the Australian Grand Prix because of concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and has issued the following statement:

"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.

"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."

The announcement noted all ticketholders will receive a full refund for the event.

According to Fox Sports, there were discussions about how to proceed Thursday night, and "the majority of teams decided against racing." Mercedes also issued a statement calling for the race to be canceled before the actual decision was made.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews previously said there would not be any spectators at Albert Park if the race did happen.

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This is one of a number of developments across the sports world related to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the most notable developments, the NCAA canceled the men's and women's championship basketball tournaments, the NBA and NHL postponed their seasons, and Major League Baseball canceled spring training and pushed back the start of the regular season. 

According to CNN, more than 4,600 people have died across the globe because of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 124,500 people.

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