Due to the fast transmission of COVID-19 the Australian Grand Prix has been canceled. Some members of the British team, McLaren, tested positive on the night before the the free practice sessions' start and they were quarantined for a period of two weeks. And this has led McLaren to retire from the Formula 1 championship.
Some members of the McLaren leadership remained in Melbourne to support the infected, while the rest of the team was forced to return to England without being able to access the McLaren headquarters.
Subsequently, seven other team members were tested for health conditions, but fortunately the results were negative.
The McLaren team principal, Andreas Seidl, announced the news of the return of the quarantined group in Australia saying: “They’re doing well, I stayed out with them for a couple of extra days and some senior members of the team are still there with them. All the team members who had been tested as a precaution tested negative, which is fantastic news.”
“The person that had tested positive is now feeling well and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the UK this week.” he concluded.
The team has now entered our official shutdown period until Wednesday 15th April. Stay safe team. 🧡— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 25, 2020
In the meantime, we'll still be here on social media to keep in touch, so give us a shout! 💬 pic.twitter.com/irQFTstdxw
The McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, also spoke on the team's withdrawal from the Australian Grand Prix.
“Even though we’re all racers and we were looking forward to hitting the track, it was an easy decision to make. Protecting the well being of our team is always the number one priority.”
“We have a duty of care to our people, fans and wider F1 stakeholders, and that’s why we informed Formula 1 and the FIA of our withdrawal shortly after hearing on the Thursday night that a member of the team had tested positive.”
In addition, Seidl explained that the team has been authorized to change the 2020 car with the Mercedes engine for the next year, despite the decision to push the 2021 rules revolution back to 2022.
“From the outset, we have been a leading supporter of the new sporting and technical regulations for 2021.”
“Nevertheless, there is no escaping the severity of the pressures faced by the sport right now. In the same way that decision to introduce the new regulations was aimed at improving the long-term health of Formula 1, the decision to postpone them has been made in the same vein.”