The Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is almost certain not to take place with only Red Bull and AlphaTauri willing to compete after a case of the coronavirus was diagnosed within the paddock.
As the Formula 1 paddock waits for an official statement from the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (GPDC) to confirm the cancellation of the season opening weekend, tensions are running high.
An FIA spokesperson told Mark Hughes of Motorsport Magazine, “For us to cancel it on our own would require less than 12 cars to be available. But other than that or from the local authourities the FIA cannot cancel because there are too many commercial agreements that in cancelling the liability would come back to us”
Fia spokesman. “For us to cancel it on our own would require less than 12 cars to be available. But other than that or from the local authourities the FIA cannot cancel because there are too many commercial agreements that in cancelling the liability would come back to us”
In a followup tweet, Hughes added some of his own thoughts, saying, "Just intensifying the farce. The teams trying to pack up cannot physically do so yet as they cannot put packing cases in pitlane , which is being used for support events."
Premier for Victoria, Daniel Andrews, also made a statement early on Friday morning after long specatator queues had gathered outside the Albert Park Circuit.
"What I can tell you is that the chief health officer in Victoria has provided revised,updated advice to event organisers this morning," said Andrews. "He has indicated that they have got a choice to make between running no event or running an event without spectators.
"From a public health point of view, the event, if it is to be run, and I'll leave it to Grand Prix officials, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix organising body to make an official announcement, and that will happen quite soon, but on public health grounds, there will be no spectators at the grand prix this weekend, if a race happens at all.
"That is a matter for them and they will make announcements I think very soon."
Reports have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have already taken matters into their own hands and have left Australia, while there are rumours that Max and Jos Verstappen have also made an exit.
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