Carey says F1 "made the right decisions" over Australian GP

Chase Carey has defended Formula 1's decision-making prior to the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix as a result of a coronavirus diagnosis in the paddock.

McLaren reported on Thursday evening that one of its team members had tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the team to withdraw from the grand prix immediately.

Teams held talks overnight regarding the possibility of the race going ahead, but it was not until 10:08am local time in Australia on Friday - less than two hours before the planned start of first practice - that the grand prix was cancelled.

F1 faced criticism for its handling of the situation after a number of figures aired concerns ahead of the race weekend.

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Thursday it was "shocking" that officials wanted the race to go ahead in light of global events.

Speaking on Friday following the cancellation of the race, F1 CEO and chairman Carey said the series' bosses had done their best to manage a "very fluid situation".

"I think we've made the right decisions, I think we worked well with our partners," Carey said.

"I think we're all disappointed to not have it, but these are challenging times and I think we've made the decisions we have to make.

"We spent the last evening really getting input from everybody. It was a joint decision between the FIA, our Australian partners, ourselves, and certainly [with] input from the teams. As would be expected, there were a range of views.

"We were dealing with things real time in a very difficult challenging situation. Were there differing views and differing opinions? Yes. I think that's what everybody tried to wrestle through.

"But I think we got to the right place, and I think we all agree we got to the right decision."

Read Also:

There was an escalation of responses to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic in the build-up to the grand prix weekend after most of the paddock personnel had arrived in Australia.

United States president Donald Trump announced a travel ban to mainland Europe, resulting in the cancellation of the World Endurance Championship round at Sebring.

The NBA season was also suspended with immediate effect, while the first positive coronavirus cases were confirmed for one player and one manager in the Premier League.

"I think we made the right decision as it evolved. We feel we worked well with all of our partners to make that decision," Carey said.

"Obviously we don't control how various events evolve. In many places around the world, the situation in just 24 or 48 hours is very different than it was not that long ago. People were traveling between the Europe and United States and 24 hours later, they're no longer traveling between those countries.

"I think these are issues that you sort of have to deal with, you know, real time, make efficient and effective decisions."

Asked by Motorsport.com if F1 had considered cancelling the race before teams travelled out to Melbourne, Carey replied: "We've been certainly discussing this issue before last week. It's not like it came out of the blue.

"I think we made the decision to come here based on what we knew last week, what the situation was here on the ground, the events they were having, and the degree of the number of infections here.

"The situation in Europe was broadly different a week ago to what it is today. But certainly we were aware. That was something that we had to evaluate.

"I think a week ago, when the teams started travelling here, we felt it was the right decision, and the situation changed in many ways in the end.

"We were always aware, and certainly have been having those discussions and looking at many contingencies given what we're dealing with."

shares
comments
2020 Formula 1 season could now start in June
Previous article

2020 Formula 1 season could now start in June

Next article

Bahrain, Vietnam GPs called off over coronavirus outbreak

Bahrain, Vietnam GPs called off over coronavirus outbreak
Load comments
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022