GPDA: 'We are all in this together and no one takes this situation lightly'
The Formula 1 Grand Prix Drivers Association has released a statement ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, reconfirming the associations trust in the FIA and F1 to make the tough decisions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a further two members of team personnel have been placed in self isolation to undergo tests for the coronavirus, the GPDA have said that everyone has a part to play 'in these difficult times'.
"The GPDA has full trust in the Australian health authorities, the FIA, F1 and our teams to act with the best intentions to safeguard the health, welfare and safety of fans, officials, drivers and wider communities," read the GPDA statement.
“The GPDA has been in contact with F1 and FIA throughout last week and we know they are working hard and thoroughly on this challenging task.
“We are all in this together and no one takes this situation lightly, but feel the responsibility falls on everyone, the locals as well as us global travellers, to be especially vigilant and cautious in these difficult times the coronavirus pandemic brings upon us all.
“To this end, the GPDA would respectfully suggest that we all, our Australian friends, fans, race community and drivers to maintain a safe distance and avoid one to one contact like selfies, autographs and shaking hands.
"These proposed steps to mitigate risk are in line with relevant guidance provided by public health authorities.”
On top of cancelling all autograph sessions, Formula 1 teams have also made the joint decision to cancel the open TV media scrums. Instead, a single camera from the host broadcaster will be used to film interviews.
For non-televised interviews, teams have put in place a two-metre exclusion zone to minimise the risk of a further spread of the virus.
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