Formula 1 drivers were set to get going with the 2020 season on Sunday but the coronavirus outbreak prompted the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation. What did they do instead?
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen flew home straight away – in fact they were out of Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport before the event was officially cancelled.
Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton was erroneously thought to have been on the same flight but the eight-time Albert Park pole-sitter stayed around in Melbourne.
Hamilton revealed that he had taken to the water for some surfing – an activity that both Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Haas’ Romain Grosjean undertook – and he also went indoor rock-climbing.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi both found some engines to play with.
Gasly put some laps in at Melbourne’s International Kart circuit while Latifi – who has to wait longer for his debut – went to rental centre Ace Karts to have some fun.
A couple of drivers did participate in an actual race, albeit virtually.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was one of the luminaries involved in The Race’s online event while McLaren’s Lando Norris was a participant in the ‘Not the Australian Grand Prix’, which was organised by Veloce eSports, the company co-founded by Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.