Brawn: 'If a team is prevented from entering a country, we can’t have a race'
Formula One motorsports managing director Ross Brawn says that no race will take place if any single team is denied entry to the host country as the sport continues to monitor the coronavirus developments closely.
Brawn told Reuters that grand prix could be cancelled if any team were denied entry to a host country, but that the situation would be different if teams elected to stay away themselves.
“If a team is prevented from entering a country we can’t have a race. Not a Formula One world championship race, anyway, because that would be unfair,” said Brawn.
“Obviously if a team makes its own choice not to go to a race, that’s their decision.
“But where a team is prevented from going to a race because of a decision of the country then it’s difficult to have a fair competition.”
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Questioned on the potential that F1 has to cause a spread of the virus, a growing list of sporting fixtures and other such large gatherings of people being cancelled globally, Brawn added, "It’s a very serious situation, so I don’t want to underplay it. But we’re trying to have races. We’ve got to do them in a responsible way.
“We’re minimising the number of people in the paddock, we’re asking the teams to send a minimum number of people they need to a race,”
While the Australian Grand Prix looks to be going ahead at present, race organisers for the race in Bahrain have requested specific details of 'teams, administrators, broadcast and media' travelling from the worst affected areas with 'specific measures' to be put in place.
The largest question mark remains over the new Vietnam Grand Prix due to be held on April 5.
“They want the race to happen but also they’ve got to protect their population," said Brawn. "So we’re looking at what solutions we can find to make sure everybody is comfortable with the arrangements.
“There’s a lot of things going on at the moment and it changes on a day-by-day basis. It’s difficult to be definitive now but we’re going to find solutions.”
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