Vettel: Drivers could 'pull the handbrake' on the Australian Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel says that drivers will likely take matters into their own hands if the cornoavirus pandemic surrounding the Formula 1 season opening Australian Grand Prix worsens.
With the COVID-19 outbreak being classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, Sebastian Vettel has said outright that Formula 1 drivers will stand together and cancel the Australian Grand Prix should the situation worsen.
“I hope others would agree, and we hope it doesn’t get that far, but if it were to get that far then for sure you pull the handbrake,” said Vettel.
“I think we are a group of 20 guys and I think we’ve got together over the last years for various circumstances on various topics, and I think we share common opinion on big decisions and that."
Formula 1 and Liberty Media have faced much criticism from the media over their lack of handling of the coronavirus pandemic, but now the blows are coming from inside the camp with Vettel adding his name to a growing list of disgruntled drivers.
With Formula 1 motorsports managing director Ross Brawn previously warning that if any single team could not compete, the Grand Prix would not take place, a positive test in any of these five cases could be enough to see not only the Australian Grand Prix cancelled, but also the Bahrain race which is scheduled for the following week.
Vettel continued by making clear the fact that, if those in charge could not make a decision, the drivers would, adding, “I would qualify it is a very, very big decision and ultimately, as I said before, you look at yourself. And we would, I think, be mature enough to look after ourselves and pull the handbrake in that case.”
Soon after talking to the media, it was announced that McLaren were withdrawing from the Australian Grand Prix after a team member tested positive for the virus.
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