Australian Grand Prix Officially Cancelled For Fans AND Drivers
The Australian Grand Prix has been officially cancelled after a morning of confusion for fans, drivers and officials.
The announcement comes after Australian Grand Prix boss Paul Little initially said the event would go on as planned, with fans in attendance, despite a positive coronavirus test from a McLaren Racing team member.
Later on Friday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters the Chief Health Officer of Victoria had demanded no fans be in attendance at the very least.
"[Event organisers] have a choice to make this morning, between running no event, or an event without spectators," he said.
"The event, if it is to be run... on public health grounds, there will be no spectators at any Grand Prix event this weekend, if one is to happen at all."
An official shared the news to hundreds standing outside the gates via megaphone as the crowds booed, chanted "cash is king", and shouted for their money back.
The Australian Grand Prix Corporation said in a statement the positive coronavirus test from a McLaren team member and another pending test, for someone who is not associated with a Formula 1 team, had influenced the decision.
"Our first priority is the safety of everyone including attendees, our personnel, all event partners and members of the local community," the statement read.
"Further information regarding refunds for ticket holders will be communicated in due course."
McLaren Racing pulled out of the event on Thursday night, after a team member tested positive for coronavirus.
On Thursday, six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton said he found it "shocking" the race was being staged amid a global coronavirus pandemic.
"I am really very, very surprised that we are here," he said.
"It seems like the rest of the world is reacting [but] Formula One continues to go on -- it's definitely concerning for me."
Unconfirmed reports have claimed most teams were not interested in continuing, even earlier this morning when that was the plan.
10 Sport reporters on the ground have said there have been no selfies between fans and drivers, nor any other fan interaction.
Reporters have also been asked to disinfect microphones after use.
A spokesperson from Network 10 said the broadcaster supported the decision to cancel the weekend of racing.
"The safety and well-being of our employees, partners, the racing teams and everyone who was planning to attend is our number one priority," they said.
"In light of the cancellation, we will run our regular programming schedule."