Start lights, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2020

Official: F1, FIA and race promoter cancel season-opening Australian Grand Prix

2020 Australian Grand Prix

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Formula 1, the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation have jointly cancelled Sunday’s season-opening race in Australia just hours before the first practice session was due to begin.

Drivers and teams had already begun to arrive at the circuit when the cancellation of the race was confirmed.

“Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, the FIA and Formula 1 convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening,” said a statement issued by the FIA. “Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.

“The FIA and Formula 1, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix is cancelled.

“We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course.

“All parties took into consideration the huge efforts of the AGPC, Motorsport Australia, staff and volunteers to stage the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, however concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition take priority.”

The race had been in doubt following McLaren’s withdrawal from the weekend in light of a team member testing positive for the Coronavirus

It is the second F1 round to be struck from the calendar due to the virus, which led April’s Chinese Grand Prix to be called off last month. The latest development, which comes as other championships have cancelled races countries around the world, casts fresh doubt on whether upcoming F1 races will be able to go ahead.

The Bahrain race promoters had already announced next week’s race would take placed behind closed doors to minimise the risk of infection. The following round of the world championship is due to be Vietnam’s first race, scheduled to take place at a new street circuit in Hanoi on April 5th.

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How Coronavirus has changed the 2020 F1 calendar

RoundEventDatesNotes
1Australian Grand PrixMar 13-15Cancelled due to Coronavirus
2Bahrain Grand PrixMar 20-22Will run behind closed doors due to Coronavirus
3Vietnam Grand PrixApr 3-5
4Chinese Grand PrixApr 17-19Cancelled due to Coronavirus
5Dutch Grand PrixMay 1-3
6Spanish Grand PrixMay 8-10
7Monaco Grand PrixMay 21-24
8Azerbaijan Grand PrixJun 5-7
9Canadian Grand PrixJun 12-14
10French Grand PrixJun 26-28
11Austrian Grand PrixJul 3-5
12British Grand PrixJul 17-19
13Hungarian Grand PrixJul 31-Aug 2
14Belgian Grand PrixAug 28-30
15Italian Grand PrixSep 4-6
16Singapore Grand PrixSep 18-20
17Russian Grand PrixSep 25-27
18Japanese Grand PrixOct 9-11
19United States Grand PrixOct 23-25
20Mexican Grand PrixOct 30-Nov 1
21Brazilian Grand PrixNov 13-15
22Abu Dhabi Grand PrixNov 27-29

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2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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115 comments on “Official: F1, FIA and race promoter cancel season-opening Australian Grand Prix”

  1. ah crap.. was so looking forward to it..

    but totally understandable! :(

    1. Sums up my feelings about this news as well

    2. I’m not sure if it is the best solution. I’m not just talking about this GP, but cancelling about everything, seems the world has gone full paranoia. The only thing we’re doing is stretching the time it takes for the virus to finally become a non threat for vulnerable people.

      There is no way of stopping this virus, just like we can’t stop seasonal corona or new influenza mutations. However, we can build a social buffer, just like we have done automatically with other viruses. Once the non-vulnerable people all got antibodies, it won’t spread as fast anymore. But if we keep stretching and stretching, this will take ages. This is so widespread, I get that they need to protect healthcare, but I really don’t see this as a great solution.

      What we really need to do is protect vulnerable people. And we aren’t doing that right now, well, perhaps short term, but not long term. These people will be in the danger zone for a very long time.

      We’re slowly peeling off the bandaid, instead of ripping it off.

      1. There is a darn good reason we are doing everything possible to stretch things out. We can’t cope with a massive outbreak. Look at Lombardy, and consider how it’s a region with one of the world’s most effective and top-rated healthcare systems. They have been reduced to near-collapse in JUST three weeks.

        The instant you run out of IC units, fatality explodes and not just for the 85+ age range.

        Cancelling the race was a bare minimum. They ought to cancel the whole lot until the virus is under control. It’s not the right time to haul massive amounts of material and people around the world.

        1. Again, it won’t stop the virus, it will just postpone the problems. And as I said, I know it is done to protect healthcare. But there is a different approach possible; quarantine vulnerable people preemptively. And yes, you can not just lock people up, but you can organize quarantined aid.

          I believe we will see a higher mortality if we tackle this slow. A social buffer is currently the best ‘vaccin’ we can get, but if we keep halting it like this, it will come back many many times. Even if we go full Wuhan.

          1. The slow approach is so the hospitals have capacity to treat people. They are much able to effectively treat them if it happens slowly, so they have capacity, they can reaquire supplies. If it all happens at once the majority of those needing help won’t even see a doctor or hospital.

            The slower it happens the mot chance there is of a vaccine as well so people don’t have to suffer through it.

            There are very good reasons for stopping our at least slowing the spread.

          2. I believe we will see a higher mortality if we tackle this slow. A social buffer is currently the best ‘vaccin’ we can get, but if we keep halting it like this, it will come back many many times. Even if we go full Wuhan.

            You believe wrong, that’s the problem. As mentioned, it’s NOT about preventing spread, that ship has sailed, hit the biggest iceberg out there, and exploded like a Michael Bay trailer.
            All you need to do is look at Lombardy.

            Though it shouldn’t take much to understand that there is a finite amount of resources. To _survive_ many patients (above 10% is what we’ve seen so far) need an IC unit with full ventilator. This for at least a couple of weeks, but upwards of a month in some cases.

            Now, how many IC spots and ventilators does that mean when we get 60-80% of the population infected within a couple of months? (that’s the kind of numbers you need to even come close to herd immunity, btw).

          3. It’s also being lengthened to give time for a vaccine to be developed. With a vaccine less casualties can be achieved like with influenza

      2. Ugh, there’s always some medical amateur saying something like this.

        At least you didn’t say “it’s just the flu”.

        Whatever is done to reduce chances of mass spreading, the better.

        And ripping the band-aid is such a euphemism for “thousands of people dying because we still want to watch live sport”.

        1. Ah yes, that is exactly what I said… If you read what you want to read..

          1. You are entitled to your opinnion. I’m glad governments acting on this are not take your opinion on board and take common sense and medical experts opinions instead

      3. Not a bad idea but, so all the young healthy people get immunity, problem is in Italy 3 generations can live in the same household, the young person isolating there for a month infects the lot. So unless you can round up all the 60+ people and put them somewhere how do you handle this?

        1. Well, old people like to take cruises, so maybe put the over-60 folks on a cruise ship?
          Yeah… that aged like milk.

    3. The season review DVD is going to be a short one this year.

  2. we could expected that now we have to wait for 2 more weeks.

    1. It’s a bummer. At least we have Sunday’s IndyCar race. It will be very bizarre watching that without fans. Better than nothing.

    2. There’s no race planned in two weeks.
      Ironically Shanghai is the safest place of all the upcoming races, but that was postponed already.

      1. You right next week is the next race but without public. I wonder will McLaren be there if they have 14 people in quaritine?

        1. @macleodMcLaren’s statement is that the race team flying back to the UK will also stay away from the McLaren factory for 14 days, presumably a self-quarantine, although that’s not spelled out. This is apart from the 14 personnel left behind in Australia, so it doesn’t seem like the McLaren team will make it to Bahrain.

          1. I thought that would be the case so that a bummer for McLaren.

  3. Rats but of course no surprise and understandable.

  4. I can’t see Bahrain or Vietnam going ahead either. This call was way to late, hopefully the welfare of people get put in front of bank accounts moving forward and we have more timely announcements moving forward. Just travelling to Melbourne has put probably thousands at unnecessary risk.

    1. This is my biggest concern. Well, maybe a bit smaller than the teams packing up and the drivers allegedly leaving Australia. Thought they would have to be put into quarantine. Isn’t this also really irresponsible?

      1. I’m sure there are a number in quarantine. I don’t expect those returning to Europe to be able to leave for possibly months. I don’t imagine that Vettel for example left to get to Bahrain early. Doesn’t bode well for races coming up. I’m sure we will get some races this year but I think like others have suggested, maybe not until June?

    2. Now that they are all here, wouldn’t it be better for all teams to stay for 14 days to ensure they are all virus free?

      I can’t see Bahrain or Vietnam going ahead, just run the Australian GP in 2 or 3 weeks time if all teams are confirmed Virus free. As I said in a previous post, you could probably also run a second round in Adelaide if needed.

    3. If Australia can’t go on, even behind closed doors, then impossible for Bahrain to go ahead. Makes no sense if quarantine is 14 days and race is next week!

        1. Or IMO any of the races this season. The same decision process led to this cancellation, even at the last minute after the teams had already done the travel, is going to be in place for all the other races? Unless the virus somehow miraculously vanishes overnight, they will eventually end up making the same choice again and angin.

          It’s sad to loose the season but I don’t see any other outcome. Rather than continue to waste time and money only to always call it off why not just cut the losses and hope to regroup for 2021. Hopefully there is enough left for it to still be viable.

          1. “lose”

  5. The sensible thing to do. It’s easy to say they left it all too late and avoided wasting so much resource moving the circus to Oz, but so much invested by very many people, time and money, it’s understandable they tried to see it through.

    Stay safe everyone.

    1. Yeah, but they should have cancelled it yesterday, before fans arrived on track today. It wasn’t just late, it was irresponsible. People were queueing outside the gates… Why allow them to move all the way to the track when they knew there was no way the race was going to be held?

      1. Because the guy that pulls that trigger also pays the check.

      2. A should have comment in these circumstances doesn’t really help.

        1. @coldfly I’m not sure a single comment on this page helps with anything other than entertaining us…. It doesn’t mean he’s not right. They made the decision whilst fans were still in bed but they waited for them to wake up, drive to the circuit and start queuing up before announcing it because none of them wanted to lose out on money.

  6. Out of all the motorsports associations and sports leagues around the world leave it to F1/the FIA to cause the biggest mess and most confusion. Shambolic.

    1. F1 is the pinnacle. ;)

    2. “There’s no chance the Oz GP will be cancelled”!
      That was the mantra. Seems Liberty were still hoping and praying that when they woke up this morning the virus might be gone and everything would go ahead as planned. Now the dithering is repeated all over again for Bahrain and Vietnam.
      Mr Carey has to make some hard decisions now. He’s the guy in charge.

  7. Kinda feel bad for the McLaren team member that came down with the infection. I hope they don’t blame themselves for in some sense triggering all of this. It’s sad to see the race, or races, cancelled but it has to be the right choice to try and limit exposure. It’s all getting quite scary.

    Wonder how many races this season will actually start though? If more fall but some still take place we could have a world champion from a season comprised of less than half the normal races, or a season comprised of racing from the same venue more than once. Though could be fascinating to watch the races becoming this ‘all or nothing’ approach… if it goes ahead at all…

  8. Reading around, it’s allegedly the case that the FIA couldn’t cancel if more than a certain number of competitors were able to race, without having to take the financial penalty for doing so.

    In other words, they were waiting for the authorities to come in and say no to let them off the hook financially.

    Lewis was right when he said “cash is king”. What an utterly shambolic state of affairs, one that an organisation the size of the FIA and Liberty should have been on top of a long time ago.

  9. April’s Chinese Grand Prix to be called off last month

    So, is the Chinese GP in April cancelled, or is the Chineses GP in 2020 cancelled? Last I recall, they were trying to shoehorn it into later in the year. Have Liberty finally given up on that?

    1. Misano and Imola put their hands up for it…

    2. Chinese GP is postponed but it really might be cancelled. Also it seems like Vietnam GP is also on schedule to be postponed. MotoGP season seems to be starting from May with Catalan GP as all other races before it are postponed or cancelled. If organisers want a race they should really hold it behind closed doors like Bahrain. Surprisngly in India as well most cricket matches are either being cancelled or are slated to be held behind closed doors.

      1. Chinese GP is postponed but it really might be cancelled.

        OK, thank you, so it’s officially still postponed, with Liberty hoping to get really lucky!

        on schedule to be postponed

        I like that phrase. It sounds like something the FIA would use to cover all the bases :)

    3. According to rumors everything up until Baku is cancelled.

      1. Just rumours from people who want to say ‘I told you so’ later.

  10. For each cancelled real event they should hold sim races.

    With or without championship points is the question…

    1. Can’t say I agree with holding simulation races as actual F1 events. I do think that there’s going to be a real upsurge in interest in e-sports racing though. While it’s obviously not a like-for-like thing, racing is probably the closest any sport can get in simulation to something like the real thing is for a TV viewer.

      If the actual F1 drivers could get involved, get sponsorships translated to the models, partner with someone like Twitch or Mixer for broadcast, you could have at the very least a fantastically entertaining thing to keep the sport front of mind for some fans. Maybe even pick up a few new ones along the way.

      And maybe even get the full Nürburgring in as a race with modern F1 cars, once safety isn’t a concern :)

    2. Jockey Ewing
      13th March 2020, 0:57

      Imo the championship could be held with applying the old rule from rallying where the worst N races were excluded from everyone’s results. If the case not goes much worse then it could be reasonable, and then some teams may withdraw from some weekends, but more GP’s are likely to be held and raced as seriously as possible, as it would be a bit more flexible.
      Although these guys are working together a lot and this is a quite contagious virus so it’s very likely that there are already a lot of them infected so even if all of them tested now, there will be more and more cases. It’s really endangering the elderly, while younger people are likely not in lethal danger because of it, but considering it’s quite severe and very contagious either, it won’t be a simple season. I awaited to see the Vietnam track and Zandvoort so much, and of course Australia either :(
      By the numbers Australia was quite clean until the previous days, if they can’t held the race there, other locations ‘ll be more problematic. Iran is not cold at all even at this stage of the year (even 30 Celsius daily max is possible), so what to expect from the warmer weather? Sadly it looks like people are not immunized after recovering, and the burden put on the healthcare institutes is one of the real threats of it. Many countries with lesser healthcare and/or political mindset are just before showing up the real situation at themselves. Hopefully China is not falsificating the numbers too much nowadays, and they really have less new cases and a lot recoveries of day by day, because that would mean it’s manageable.

  11. To be honest by the time it is all done we will all probably have some one close to us pass away from this, even some of us could fall victim. This however is no way to live life. I for one don’t want to change how I live because I have a slight chance of death from a viral infection. Let them race! Let us live life. Fear of the remotely possible should not paralyze us.

  12. I think that each team should build a race track near their factories. All tracks would be built to the same spec. Each week the teams will race each other but on their own tracks with live video and data feeds showing the placements during the race. You could still have collisions and battles between teammates and then virtual battles from the feeds.

    1. So sim racing? Do they all have to replicate climatic conditions? Hardly seems fair if one team has to race on a wet track…

      1. Need to run real cars. Weather is just rub of the green although something might be done with which tires could be used.

        1. And virtual Sprinklers!

    2. Hey Race Fans your calendar doesn’t indicate that Baku will be run behind closed doors, which it will. Thanks for your reporting.

      1. I can’t see closed doors being totally effective in a city – will still have transits, crowd aggregation and mixing… it will be worse in Monaco.

  13. I can’t read the official FIA statement as the website isn’t responding. Is it just the F1 part of the weekend cancelled or all the support races cancelled as well?

    1. The whole event is cancelled. V8, TCR, F5000, Porsche Careera. Job lot.

  14. The FIA need to be proactive rather than reactive to the Coronavirus threat.
    All races up to and including the Monaco GP should be cancelled now before the mass travel to the circuits takes place not after it has happened.
    A monthly review should be held at the start of each preceding month to see if the cancellations need to be extended.
    If any country in the world still has increasing case numbers the the cancellations are extended another month.
    If this means we end up with an empty season, then so be it, containing and limiting the toll is more important than any sporting event

    1. @ceevee – When can you say F1 as a sport has ever been proactive rather than reactive?

    1. What’s oointless is having the rave under these conditions.

  15. Cant see F1 starting the season till mid year. Dutch GP at the earliest

    1. Can’t see the Dutch GP going through, at least not with spectators. There are about 5x as many confirmed cases in the netherlands compared to Australia, in a much more densely populated country.

      1. but that is 2 months far a lot can happens then.

        1. GtisBetter (@)
          13th March 2020, 9:15

          It took China 3 months to control the virus, but some restrictions are still in place. That is with total lockdown. The first case in the Netherlands was late February. Add 3 months and you get end of may. That is just drop in infected people while live slowly returns to normal. I wouldn’t be surprised if everything till the summer break will be cancelled.

    2. I would cancel the Dutch GP even before considering cancelling Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, or even China.
      May in the Netherlands is comparable to mid-winter flu season in the rest of the world.

      1. Where do you get that info from!? That is complete nonsense. Normal spike in flu is between December and Februari. Three weeks ago or so they already announced that regular influenza was on its retreat —earlier than normal due to the relatively mild winter we had.

  16. Yesterday I was given a corporate ticket to the paddock for Sunday. I’m in Sydney. Immediately booked flights and accom. Not cheap and non-refundable. What a difference a few hours make. Easy come easy go.

    1. There will be a class action suit that will be filed for compensation with delaying cancellation during a WHO declared pandemic. Keep an eye out and keep your receipts and race ticket. You’ll be eligible for compensation.

    2. I’d be looking at the guy that decided it was iffy and offloaded that ticket onto you.

      I’m less worried about unfortunate but absorbable outlays and a bit more worried that a lack of income this season will bankrupt the shooting match.

  17. If they are not allowed to run the race behind closed doors, what are they allowed to do? Can the team members be in contact with each other this weekend? Can they be in contact with other people? Are they allowed to leave their hotels? If yes, then why not on run the race in front of empty grandstands? This sounds to me like the FIA just wants to make sure they cannot be blamed for anything…

  18. Ok, it seems a good decision, but was it bad that they took a thousand people from all Europe to Australia and now will take them back further helping to increase spreading of the virus?

  19. Cristiano Ferreira
    13th March 2020, 1:00

    Thank you China :(

    1. Cristiano Ferreira
      13th March 2020, 1:08

      Also, i must ask… what FIA will do if the 2020 season is unable to go because of the vírus? Are they going to split the prize money equally between the teams?

      And what will happen if the season can only have 10 or less races? Are they going to race just for fun? Because there’s no way they will grant championship status to them, am i right?

      1. No races, no income, no prize money

        1. Cristiano Ferreira
          13th March 2020, 2:24

          @antznz

          Are the teams going to agree with this? They spent money building the cars and such.

          1. They already agree to it. That’s the deal.

  20. Such a shame, understandable obviously but look, 3 races planned in 3 weeks, would’ve been so nice but the virus had to ruin it.

    1. And as a season opener also, don’t think we ever had 3 races in a row in a season opener before.

    2. Nevermind, sorry, I didn’t check well, it was only 2 consecutive races, with vietnam another week further, so there’s no 3 races in a row this season no matter what.

  21. Official FIA statement issued earlier today:

    “The FIA and Coronavirus (Covid-19) have agreed to a number of medical commitments that will improve the monitoring of all Formula 1 personnel health for forthcoming championship seasons as well as assist the FIA in other regulatory duties in Formula 1 and in its research activities on viral emissions and sustainable health.”

  22. Unfortunately this is going to reflect badly on Australia probably more that the FIA/Liberty as it will be see by most that it was the Victorian Government that forced their hand.

    Nevertheless, from this point forward, the FIA and Liberty are going to have to face the fact that it’s unlikely that there will be any races for the next couple of months and quite probably longer such has been the rapid change in global conditions and attitudes in the last week.

    What they probably need to be focussing on right now is how to help the teams, their logistics suppliers etc and their staff survive commercially in 2020 given that incomes & sponsorship funds will fall away and contracts will be cancelled.

    1. Unfortunately this is going to reflect badly on Australia probably more that the FIA/Liberty as it will be see by most that it was the Victorian Government that forced their hand.

      @dbradock – bit confused here – Are you saying the perception will be that “the govt forced their hand to cancel” or that it will be seen as “the govt forced F1 to try and hold a race as far as possible”? But yeah, that’s a good point, because for us fans we’re probably irate at the FIA and FOM, but to outsiders it might come across very differently.

      Re. your latter point, Dr. Marko has been making some statements that a possibility being looked at is to start the season only from Baku onwards, and to race through the summer break, slotting back races when and where possible. i.e. a continuous June-November season.

      Failing that, I agree that teams might require financial support to tide over this crisis.

      1. Actually Redbull was one of 3 teams that voted overnight to still race this werkend

      2. Well he’s a doctor so he should know.

    2. It was the teams that forced the issue 7 teams didnt want to race

  23. Anyone here in Melbourne right now? And are you planning on going to Joe Saward’s talk downtown?

  24. NeverElectric
    13th March 2020, 2:53

    Postpone the start of the season to July.
    Reduce the number of races in the season accordingly.
    Better safe than sorry.

    1. What wil be better in July? The entire season is toast. :(

  25. Redbull, alpha tauri and racing point we’re the only teams that still wanted to race as of last night, so I hope people don’t start blaming Italy, Ferrari, the FIA, liberty, the Victorian government or Australia for the race being cancelled. If the drivers and teams don’t want to race then that is that.

    1. I think we’ll have to hold back on the blame game. The blame I’m looking to place isn’t the “who canceled the race?” but “why did it take so long to cancel?”. It was a tricky scenario and I sympathise, but I think leaning on the side of caution a day or two earlier (ie. Before everyone congregated in an urban area) might have been better. I guess with hindsight the call is easy.

      It seems that Formula One management didn’t want to pull the trigger on that one or they’d have to pay for it. Likewise local government. So I’d still be pointing fingers at them, however, I’ll wait and surely read more soon enough.

  26. There will be a class action suit that will be filed for compensation with delaying cancellation during a WHO declared pandemic. Keep an eye out and keep your receipts and race ticket. You’ll be eligible for compensation.

  27. The calendar zig zags across the globe too much anyway. To hit their carbon neutral goal anyway, I suggest for next year the calendar get made into regional championship rounds.

    Asia/Australia, Europe, Middle East/Baku, and the Americas. Each of the 4 regions has their own separate championship. If you even wanted to down the road, you can tally the final points for each regional championship into bonus points and all tally to the final. Or you can keep the world championship points format as is.

    You could easily knock out Baku, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi as the first regional championship before the European season. Then once Europe is over, you can hit up Australia (since their winters aren’t that bad)and Singapore, Vietnam, China, and Japan for the Asian/Australian champion. Then go to Canada, USA, Mexico, and finish in Brazil for the American Championship.

    1. A reason that has been given for the zig zagging is that having GPs in a clustered area causes cannibalization of attendees. Not to mention contractual limitations like the Monaco GP happening on a specific weekend in May, Abu Dhabi being the season finale (and I don’t think Bahrain like being too close to Abu Dhabi), and so on.

      That said, “it’s always been done like that” is usually never a good idea to always adhere to, and I would welcome a bit of experimentation and exploration. However, the complexity of the contracts with regional promoters will make it hard to change, and probably harder still to experiment, and I wouldn’t envy Liberty the task of attempting that, on top of all the other changes to the sport.

      But I like the idea you’ve mooted of regional championships, and I can see Liberty liking that idea a lot since it adds to the show and spectacle (e.g. Red Bull being a regional champ even as Merc build up to being world champions), they can make a bit of a ceremony at the closure of each region, while still building up to a world championship.

    2. The idea isn’t bad, in general, but would need work. Just using the Americas for an example. If the season were to end there, temps might be okay for all but Canada, but that could be as low as 45-55F (7-13C) and those are average highs, any particular day could be much colder. If you move Americas to the summer, then the US GP becomes likely an oven.

      I do still like the idea, but there would need to be some considerations and rejiggering. And @phylyp ‘s point about nearby events eating each other would also still be there.

  28. Slow-clap for the late-to-the-party F1 decision-makers. I’m glad they’re not the ones making the big-boy decisions on how to handle the pandemic. But then again, this was probably manufactured by people just above their pay-grade to neuter oil-bearing countries, rap China’s knuckles, and tank a market that was long overdue. They were all liquid a month ago and will make an absolute killing picking up the pieces. So really, a botched F1 race/season is just a drop in the bucket. Besides, the plebs will keep drinking the kool-aid and lining their pockets – once the culling has been completed.

  29. Where is Ferrari and Alpha Tauri going now? if they return to Italy they might be stranded there for a long time…

    1. that car and stuf are going straight to Bahrein and i think the staff will take a hotel there too.

      1. The problem is that the reason to cancel Australia (big chunk of McLaren in quarantine) is still valid in Bahrain.
        @macleod

        1. +1 and every race this year. Maybe by next year everyone will have already been eposed and things can get back to normal barring any mutations or reinfections.

  30. Well, they may as well cancel everything for the next 3 months at least. It’s not like its going to go away anytime soon.

  31. This decision should’ve been made before any teams and drivers had left Europe for Australia in the first place, i.e., before last weekend at the very latest.

    1. On the promoter’s side I think they got sucker punched by the 100,000 fans cricket match held a few days before just up the road and thought they might be able to squeeze the race in before the curve caught them.

    2. This decision should’ve been made before any teams and drivers had left Europe for Australia

      The decision to continue was made ‘before any teams and drivers had left Europe’. I can still (even with hindsight) see why that decision was taken.
      But things happen/change and I applaud that they updated the decision to cancel.

  32. Bahrain should definitely be cancelled after this, the situation there is much worse than Australia

    1. Yes, Bahrain has 15 times more reported cases per million population than Australia. But Bahrain has also done more testing per capita than any other country on earth (140 times more testing per head than Australia).

  33. After thinking about this over night, this disaster of a season opening could ultimately turn out to be the best thing for F1. Losing potentially the first half of the season could result in experimenting with the format for the remaining races, like double races at venues, sprint races. Double points endurance races, reverse grids. If the season is a bust, let’s try out all the possible ways to enhance a race weekend.

  34. Agree this will not be a normal season.

    The behind closed doors system may not minimise the virus risk for F1. Sports like football, cricket etc only need teams plus a few extra physios, managers, The F1 circus involves 1000s of people moving from country to country. These people all need somewhere to stay, food to eat etc. Interaction with each country.

    The big problem F1 has is that if there is no season, how do most teams survive? Even bigger teams may start loosing sponsors and still end up with massive salary checks to pay.

    One solution might be to hold 10 televised races at Silverstone. Most of the teams could get there without requiring hotels etc. That way F1/liberty could run a ‘full’ season with minimum risk of virus transmission, and with much lower costs. Maybe it would be possible to try different formats, or use different circuit layouts for variety?

    The virus will all probably change F1 more than the proposed budget cap. Like many sports, F1 is a much larger and more bloated sport than it was in the 1970s. How will F1 rebuild after 2020 will be very interesting.

  35. Race with CLOSE DOORS, NO SPECTATORS AND THE PROBLEM IS FINISHED.

    1. Problem is McLaren is probally disabled to have people at the race.

    2. Just push and this annoying problem is finished.

      1. press |caps lock |

  36. Motogp has already done 1 race without spectators and nobody complained about it!

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