Formula 1

Paddock ‘lockdown’ was discussed as possibility for Australian GP

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Putting the paddock into ‘lockdown’ to press ahead with the FIA Formula 1 2020 Australian Grand Prix weekend was discussed as a remote possibility, Aston Martin Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed.

McLaren F1 Team had initially withdrawn from the season-opening race after one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus leading to talks being held between the remaining nine teams, as well as F1 and FIA chiefs, on Thursday night to deliberate over what course of action should be taken next.

One scenario that was considered amongst the teams was to only allow F1 personnel entry into the paddock, but that alternative did not receive the necessary support needed.

Obviously we discussed the different scenarios. There was a discussion of locking the paddock down and taking further precautions,” Horner told Motorsport.com.

The health authority and the FIA were OK to continue if the majority of the teams were OK with it. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

With no forthcoming solution to monitor the situation as the weekend progressed, F1 confirmed that the race would be cancelled early on Friday morning in Melbourne to Horner’s frustration.

Obviously it’s very disappointing not to be racing. But we have to consider the health of our staff and personnel and, at the end of the day, the FIA and the promoter have decided to cancel the event. It’s frustrating,” he said.

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