Reports Claim Australian Grand Prix Called Off After Positive Coronavirus Test
Reports are claiming the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed following McLaren's withdrawal from the Formula One season opener after a team member tested positive for coronavirus.
The decision was reportedly made following a two-hour summit featuring F1's hierarchy, its governing body, the FIA, and a number of the sport's team principals in Melbourne, the BBC, Sky, and multiple Australian newspapers reported.
Motorsport.com cited sources which claimed the majority of the teams were unhappy to continue and the FIA would accept the decision.
There has been no official confirmation from F1 or the sport's governing body the FIA, as yet.
The sporting world has already cancelled or postponed a series of tournaments and events in response to the deadly disease which has killed more than 4,600 people.
McLaren chiefs told governing body FIA of their decision to pull out late on Thursday night, barely 24 hours before practice was due to start in Melbourne.
In a statement shared to Twitter on Thursday night, the team said the person was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started showing symptoms.
"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 statement said.
"The team is cooperating with the relevant local authorities to assist their investigations and analysis."
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) CEO, Andrew Westacott, also released a statement on Thursday evening which said the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and F1 had been advised that one of eight racers who were tested for the deadly disease returned a positive result.
" It has been confirmed that the individual was a member of the McLaren Racing Team. As a result of this, McLaren has announced its withdrawal from the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020," he said.
"The AGPC is currently in discussions with Formula 1, the FIA and the Department of Health and Human Services in relation to the broader implications of this test result."
He added a ninth individual has been assessed and tested for the coronavirus and results are pending.
"This individual is not associated with any Formula 1 team, the FIA or associated suppliers," Westacott said.
The AGPC will provide updates as further details become available.