Formula 1 teams have agreed to reduce their media activities amid the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 coronavirus, ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
Each team typically carries out a media session for TV crews on Thursday, which typically takes place in a scrum formation behind the garage, as well as a session for the written media.
TV media sessions will no longer take place and instead only Formula 1 will film these sessions, and supply the relevant footage, meaning paying broadcasters have no direct access to drivers.
Written media sessions are taking place though with a greater distance between the press and the respective participant.
Some teams have also restricted access of their hospitality units to staff personnel only.
In addition there are now four members of the Haas team who are remaining in their hotel in Melbourne while checks are made for COVID-19.
Two team members were placed in self-isolation on Wednesday, in addition to one McLaren employee, while two more have been isolated today (Thursday).
The results of the first test are expected later this afternoon.
“I think this situation is developing so quickly on an hourly basis that no one can have total control over it.” said Haas boss Guenther Steiner.
“I think we are all grown-ups and we need to take care of ourselves. That is what we are doing. We try in our little world to manage it as best we can, and nobody needs to tell us what to do. Everybody in their own world needs to do what is best for themselves and the community. To now say FIA and FOM didn’t give enough leadership, I wouldn’t say that because they didn’t know what was coming.
“I am here since Sunday and on Sunday here there was not a problem with the virus and it just escalated. I just read that the US has no flights to Europe for 30 days, so the thing is just moving on an hourly basis and we just need to manage it ourselves as best we can for the community.”