'Red Bull, AlphaTauri & Racing Point wanted to race'
Three teams stood firm in their conviction that Formula 1 should press on with the Australian GP: Red Bull, AlphaTauri and Racing Point.
On Thursday the Formula 1 paddock recorded its first positive coronavirus test with a McLaren team member falling ill.
The team withdrew from the Australian weekend, sparking a string of talks and votes that would ultimately lead to the grand prix being called off two hours before FP1 was set to be green-lighted.
While some reports claim the initial voted was deadlocked a 5:5, Autosport is reporting that three teams – Red Bull, AlphaTauri and Racing Point – were adamant they wanted to continue with race weekend.
One senior team member told the publication: “We’re racers, and we’re here to race.”
Their respective bosses felt that unless the authorities said it was unsafe, they wanted to go ahead.
Red Bull has subsequently said in a statement that while the team is “disappointed” not be racing, safety comes first.
“Following confirmation from Formula One, the FIA and AGPC that the Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled, and in light of the force majeure events we are experiencing with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Team’s focus now shifts to ensuring that all personnel return home as safely and quickly as possible and that all necessary precautions are taken in line with Government and World Health Organisation guidelines.
“We share the disappointment of Formula One fans, but the safety of the teams, fans, media and circuit staff remains of absolute priority. We now await further information from the FIA on the status of future races.”
Racing Point has yet to comment.
AlphaTauri said: “Like all motor racing fans, we are very disappointed that the Australian Grand Prix will not take place. However, given the escalating situation regarding the Coronavirus, which is now classified as a pandemic, the decision to cancel the event, taken by the FIA, Formula 1 and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, is the right one.
“The health and safety of our workforce has to be our main priority and, as a team based in Italy, we are also aware of the worsening situation back in Europe, which is worrying for all our staff.
“Formula 1 will recover from this situation, and we rely on its governing body and the commercial rights holder to monitor the situation and guide all the F1 teams accordingly.”
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