Formula 1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey has issued a public apology to fans following the late cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix four days ago.
The season-opening race was called off almost 12 hours after McLaren announced it would not take part in the event because one of its team members had tested positive for the Coronavirus. Fans had already begun to arrive at the track for F1 practice on Friday morning when official word was given that the event had been called off.
Addressing fans in a letter published on the sport’s social media accounts, Carey said: “First and foremost, our priority is the health and safety of the fans, teams, and organisations of Formula 1, as well as wider society.
“We apologise to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date. These decisions are being made by Formula 1, the FIA, and our local promoters in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe they are the right and necessary ones. We also want to extend our thoughts to those already affected, including those in the Formula 1 family.”
F1 has already announced its races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China will not go ahead on their scheduled dates. The championship has indicated it intends to being its season in Europe in late May, but Carey admitted they cannot be certain whether that will be possible.
“We recognise everyone wants to know what comes next for Formula 1 in 2020,” he said. “We cannot provide specific answers today given the fluidity of the situation.
“However, we plan to get the 2020 championship season underway as soon as it’s safe to do so. We are engaging with experts and officials on a daily basis as we evaluate how we go forward in the next few months.”
Carey promised to keep fans “updated and provide details as soon as possible”, adding “we are grateful for your support and understanding and we wish you and your families all the best.”
- View the current list of races cancelled due to the Coronavirus
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