Only three F1 teams were willing to run in Melbourne

Just three Formula 1 teams were willing to continue to run in Melbourne had Australian Grand Prix not been cancelled by the authorities this morning – opening up the bizarre prospect of a repeat of the 2005 US GP, when just six cars took part. Story by Adam Cooper.

The AlphaTauri garage
The AlphaTauri garage
1/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Red Bull Racing garage in the pit lane
The Red Bull Racing garage in the pit lane
2/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports, FOM
Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motorsports, FOM
3/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, arrives in the paddock
Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, arrives in the paddock
4/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri
Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri
5/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Screens in front of the Haas garages
Screens in front of the Haas garages
6/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The McLaren gantry over the pitbox
The McLaren gantry over the pitbox
7/7

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing, AlphaTauri and Racing Point were prepared to race, with the remaining teams not wishing to take part. One senior team member who was part of the former group told Motorsport.com: “We’re racers, and we’re here to race.”

The teams’ positions became clear at meeting with F1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn at a hotel in downtown Melbourne late last night, following the announcement that McLaren would not compete after a team member was tested positive for coronavirus.

The majority of the teams wanted to cancel the race, but Christian Horner, Franz Tost and Otmar Szafnauer said their teams would take part unless the authorities say that the race can’t run in health grounds. They were ready to commit initially to running on Friday – with the proviso that if any more cases were confirmed in the paddock, they would not continue.

That triggered a complex overnight legal discussion between F1, the FIA and the Victorian government on what to do next and who would be responsible for the decision, with all the obvious financial implications. Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault – three teams with manufacturer backing – were vehemently opposed to the event going ahead, with the world champions writing a letter explaining its decision.

Read Also:

On Friday morning only skeleton crews from each team arrived at the track. The pitlane garages of Ferrari and Mercedes remained closed as of 10am, an hour before FP1, which is a breach of the regulations. Renault’s garage was open but its cars were still in parc ferme condition, with covers on them.

The remaining six teams had their garages open but only three were making serious preparation to run had the track opened on time.

shares
comments
Australian Grand Prix officially cancelled
Previous article

Australian Grand Prix officially cancelled

Next article

Australian GP: Melbourne non-event in photos

Australian GP: Melbourne non-event in photos
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022