Australian GP organisers seek to reschedule F1 race

Australian Grand Prix chief Andrew Westacott will discuss the possibility of rescheduling the race for later in the year with Formula 1 following its cancellation

Australian GP organisers seek to reschedule F1 race

Officials from the FIA, F1 and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation called off the race on Friday just two hours before the planned start of practice, after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the F1 paddock on Thursday evening.

A member of the McLaren team tested positive after showing symptoms, and has been placed into a two-week quarantine with 14 further team members who had been in close contact with the individual.

F1 is monitoring the viability of upcoming races, but the season could now start as late as June, followed by a significant rescheduling of the calendar.

Asked if the Australian Grand Prix had been scrapped completely for 2020, AGPC CEO Westacott said the announcement of the cancellation had been deliberately worded to avoid confusing fans.

"It's important to say that we used the word cancellation because of the immediacy of the timing of it," said Westacott.

"It was important to make sure the fans who were here in Melbourne, some of the fans who were at the gate, knew that it wasn't a postponement or didn't get the impression it was a postponement for some period of hours or days or something.

"The word cancellation was used deliberately here."

Westacott (above left) said talks with F1 would follow at a later date over a potential new date for the race.

"I've learned in the world of Formula 1 that you never say never," Westacott said.

"We clearly had been working on the here and now with Chase Carey and the FIA and Formula 1.

"We'll work through matters, but we haven't started to think about future staging or anything like that.

"It's clearly a normal topic of discussion that will happen in the fullness of time."

But Westacott conceded the AGPC would not be able to leave up the structures put in place for the grand prix around Albert Park, with the area required to return to its usual usability.

"We can't leave it here for months. One of the things we respect here is there are sporting activities here," he said.

"We recognise that one of the privileges we have is to occupy a beautiful park in the CBD of Melbourne, so we want to minimise the impact of the build and the dismantle.

"Clearly this changes the way we dismantle the circuit and return it back, but we can't be leaving it here for days and weeks.

"We would expect to be dismantling and removing the infrastructure and returning it back to the sporting clubs of Albert Park and Melbourne."

shares
comments
How a late-night phonecall changed the fate of the F1 Australian GP
Previous article

How a late-night phonecall changed the fate of the F1 Australian GP

Next article

Horner: F1 considered paddock lockdown for Australian Grand Prix

Horner: F1 considered paddock lockdown for Australian Grand Prix
Load comments
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021