Formula 1 motorsports managing director feels that the championship managed the situation in Australia well as the season opening grand prix was cancelled despite fans, media and team personnel arriving to the Albert Park Circuit on Friday morning with no idea of what was going on.
The first question that was asked by everyone in the wake of the embarrassing scenes in Melbourne was simple, why was there seemingly no plan for the potential of a case of coronavirus within the F1 paddock?
According to Brawn however, there was a plan, and this plan was executed perfectly.
"We’d mapped out with the health authorities what would happen if we had one case, five cases, ten cases, but of course, what you never know with those cases is what the association is with the people around," Brawn told the official Formula 1 YouTube channel.
"Having one case with fourteen people having to go into isolation, that just effectively knocked that team out of operation. That’s something you don’t know.
“That one case could have been someone with a different profile, someone with a different responsibility that wouldn’t have impacted the team that much. So there’s certain things – you can spend forever predicting but you never know what is going to happen.
“But certainly, the procedures for if we had a case or if we had a batch of cases was all set out, and it worked very well. In reality, we found the case. We found the person who was positive in the paddock, and I think that’s a credit to the authorities here.
“They were identified, they were tested and the procedures worked, but then we had to make a decision.
Even if there was a plan, the twelve hours that it took for any official statement to be made by either the FIA, Formula 1 or the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC), is surely inexcusable.
Again though, Brawn says that this was a quick turnaround for such a large decision to be made.
Asked what took so long, Brawn replied, "Consultation with the teams, consultation with the medical authorities, consultation with the FIA, consultation with the promotors here. I’ve been up all night. I think I had one hours sleep last night. One hour, in the shower and back t the circuit, so we’ve been working on this since it started.
“I was at a restaurant last night when I got the call to say that we’d had a positive case. We’d had six or seven clearances, and then suddenly we had a positive case, so I had to come back and that started, I guess, at about nine o’clock last night [local time], nine thirty, and we just had so many issues to work through.
“We had to get the teams together again, hold a meeting. It just all takes time. There’s a lot of – this is not a total autocracy in terms of, you can’t just make a decision. You’ve got so many factors to take into account and I think we did a pretty good job of reaching the right conclusion.
“With so many parties and stakeholders involved. We were talking to the FIA which is in Europe, we had to get hold of Jean Todt, Chase [Carey] unfortunately was in the air, he was flying between Vietnam and here – so it was a pretty stressful period, and I think, considering we dealt with everything within 12-hours, something that important, was good.”
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