Mclaren Racing have confirmed that they will not take to the grid at Albert Park when the lights go out at the opening race of the 2020 Formula 1 season. Their reason for withdrawal is one that is making headlines across the planet; the Coronavirus.
In a statement on Twitter, McLaren Racing said that a member of their team has contracted the COVID-19 virus and the team has taken the decision to withdraw both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris from the race as a precautionary measure.
"McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus."
McLaren, along with the other 9 teams on the paddock, were ready to participate in the season-opening race and had even shown up in Melbourne following pre-season testing in Barcelona.
There has been prevailing concern regarding the safety of everyone involved given the current medical scenario. With the World Health Organization already declaring the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The Chinese Grand Prix is still in doubt while Vietnam too could see their maiden Grand Prix at the Hanoi Street Circuit postponed in the light of the outbreak.
Formula 1 had considered taking precautions during the race weekend by limiting meet and greet sessions, autograph sessions and also given thought to close public access to the race but it remains to be seen what will happen next.Published 12 Mar 2020, 18:24 IST