In an absurd series of events with the FIA and the FOM (Formula One Management) taking so much time with the cancellation of the Australian GP, fans in Melbourne’s Albert Park stood in front of closed gates for several hours before being told to go home.
On Friday morning in Australia, Paul Little, Chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, was still talking on Channel 9 morning television about the GP being held as planned in the coming days.
There is no mention of the races scheduled after Australia in Bahrain (22nd March) and Vietnam (5th April), let alone when this Formula 1 World Championship will even start. Formula E is bolder and faster than Formula 1, with the championship organisers announcing quicky the series is suspended for two months.
F1 owners Liberty Media and their CEO Chase Carey seems at a loss at his media conference in Albert Park.
“It’s pretty difficult to predict how all this will develop. The situation is constantly changing. As we stand here, the situation is very different from 48 hours before. It’s a challenge to try to predict how this will continue.” says the American.
According to Motorsport.com, the Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for next weekend, has also been cancelled, as well as Vietnam, but in this case there will be an attempt to move the event later in the season.
But when will the 2020 World Championship start? Excluding what will be the general situation regarding the evolution of the Coronavirus, the first race of the year will be the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan, scheduled in Baku next June 7th, skipping the Spanish and Monaco GPs.
The race after Baku would be the Canadian Grand Prix, and that particular country has also been struck, albeit in a less severe manner with 180 cases confirmed as of last night including the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This has worried fans of Lewis Hamilton, who himself was with Sophie Trudeau last week in London. It was only yesterday she tested positive for Covid-19, the virus has an incubation period of at least 5 days.
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My heart is full after spending time working with my own family and the WE family. Our message in London: Show yourself love and offer that same love to the world. 💖 Mon cœur se remplit d’amour entourée par ma fée Ella, ma belle-mère Margaret, ma belle-sœur Alicia et la famille agrandie de WE. On en fait tous partie! L’amour propre nous mène vers l’amour du monde.
Formula 1 was supposed to return to Zandvoort at the beginning of May for the first GP weekend in the Netherlands since 1985, but on Thursday the government cancelled all sporting events, indefinitely, and banned any gathering of more than 100 people
It is hoped that a new calendar could be constructed without the summer break, during which the Dutch Grand Prix could be rescheduled.
A new calendar would postpone the final leg in Abu Dhabi from 29th of November to the 13th December, to make room for the resumption of the Vietnam and China Grand Prix.
But this is of course arbitrary and dependant on the measures taken by countries to tackle the virus. One does wonder if the 2020 season will happen at all due to the increasingly severe border closures in Europe and strict travel warnings by the authorities, the majority of teams and team members will be stuck somewhere. Italy remains sealed off, Czech Republic and Slovakia blocked.
The real reason the F1 GP in Australia wasn’t cancelled, until now
After hours of discussion and uncertainty, the FIA finally announced on Thursday evening the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, which was due to open the Formula 1 season this weekend.
The opening of the Formula One season will wait. The Australian Grand Prix, the first round of the world championship that was scheduled to take place this weekend, has been cancelled. An announcement from the FIA on Friday evening, when discussions had been going on for hours.
Conflicting information was beginning to…… READ MORE ON THIS BREAKING STORY