Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, with fans in line for a full refund.
A member of the McLaren team tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus on Thursday evening, prompting McLaren to announce its withdrawal from the event.
Formula 1 team bosses convened through the early hours of Friday as they determined the next course of action.
At 10am local time on Friday it was confirmed that all Formula 1 activity has been cancelled.
No comment was made on whether next weekend’s planned Bahrain Grand Prix will take place.
“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,” read a statement.
“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
“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.”