Formula One season in chaos as Australian GP faces last minute cancellation
Formula One and Liberty Media pressed ahead with their Australian Grand Prix plans as other national and international sport championships made postponements and cancellations. Now, the coronavirus pandemic has caught up to the sport, leaving one question - what happens next?
On March 4, Formula 1 motorsports managing director, Ross Brawn, said, "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."
This 'all for one and one for all' commitment does come with one glaringly obvious caveat. McLaren were granted access to Australia so, if the race were to still go ahead without them, Brawn would not have broken his word.
However, the decision may not be left to Brawn, the FIA and Liberty Media. In recent weeks, the seven non-Ferrari powered teams have shown that there are circumstances where rivalries and divisions can be put to one side in the interests of fair play and a common goal.
“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."
Guidance from the Australian health officials made clear that if a team had one staff member test positive for the coronavirus, the whole team would be placed under quarantine. In most cases, the quarantine period has been 14-days, but it is unclear what the scenario would be in this instance.
Vietnam currently have travel restrictions in place that would prevent Ferrari from entering the country, as well as a separate suspension on visas for those travelling from the UK.
With China already missing from the calendar, there is a very strong possibility that the record breaking 22-race Formula 1 calendar could become an 18-race season starting on May 3 in Holland.
Of course, there is still the chance that Liberty Media and F1 will continue on without McLaren. Since Monday, $2.6 billion has disappeared from the F1 stock market value (FWONK), and cancellations would only see this number increase.
BREAKING: #F1 stock crashes to 2015 price. $FWONK has plummeted 10% today wiping a staggering $600 MILLION off its value. #F1 has lost a total of $2.6 BILLION since its peak in mid Jan driven by the #coronavirus. Chase Carey has chosen to race around the world during the pandemic pic.twitter.com/j9FAg5l64g
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