In an unprecedented and surprising move, McLaren has announced they are not taking part in this weekend’s Australian GP.
This has come to light after it emerged that one of their team members was diagnosed with Corona virus.
Their official statement read:
“McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus. The team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and will now be treated by local healthcare authorities.”
“The team has prepared for this eventuality and has ongoing support in place for its employee who will now enter a period of quarantine. The team is cooperating with the relevant local authorities to assist their investigations and analysis.”
“Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, and Andreas Seidl, Team Principal of McLaren F1, informed Formula 1 and the FIA of the decision this evening. The decision has been taken based on a duty of care not only to McLaren F1 employees and partners, but also to the team’s competitors, Formula 1 fans and wider F1 stakeholders.”
McLaren’s actions may inadvertently trigger other teams to follow suit, regardless of whether their own team members have been diagnosed with the virus or not.
Formula 1’s management are in talks with McLaren and they might yet be present for the race this weekend, though this is now believed to be uncertain.