Valtteri Bottas, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2020

Drivers hope race can go on in spite of Coronavirus

2020 Australian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 drivers say they hope this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix will go ahead amid uncertainty over the race due to the spread of the Coronavirus.

Teams have assembled in Melbourne for the season-opening race in the shadow of the virus, which has been officially declared a pandemic.

The global spread of the virus has prompted other countries to enforce limits on public gatherings. Many sporting events have been cancelled or are taking place without spectators, as will next week’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Speaking to media in Melbourne today, Valtteri Bottas said he hopes this weekend’s race can go ahead.

“It is really, really good to be here and racing, most likely,” he said. “I haven’t heard anything other than that and I’m not really an expert of the world situation.

“Obviously, we as a team, we get some updates and obviously there is many people monitoring everything. And for sure the safety of all the team personnel, all the fans, everyone involved here in these kind of events, is very important.

“I’m sure that it is being taken care of and making sure. And if there’s any further calls either made for this race weekend or others, I’m sure they are going to be then made for good reason. So I don’t really know what else to say, except I’m just really keen to race and we’re here to race and if we are allowed to then of course I’m very happy for that.”

Red Bull driver Alexander Albon said he trusts those running to sport to make the correct decision about this and future races.

“I’m not in a position really to talk but I know for a fact that Formula 1, FIA, the teams, they’re speaking a lot, trying to find a solution.

“I know they have a lot of experts trying to deal with the problem and we’ve got to trust them really. I think they’re the ones who know the situation better than us. And when it comes down to it, they will be they’ll be the ones making the right call. And I think we can all trust them on that.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Drivers hope race can go on in spite of Coronavirus”

    1. 2 more Haas team personale have been detected with Corona. Dont see how F1 will escape its clutches at this point.

      1. Source?

    2. The doctors have said already: testes were made and if they are indeed infected, and since they worked with their colleagues, additional people will need to be quarantined and I seriously doubt there will be enough staff for them to race. By them I mean McLaren and Haas, but since they are all in close proximity with the others, other teams maybe.

      I love the sport, I’m very eager and excited to have the first race (as I’m always am at the start of a new season even if I get a bit disappointed later on) but wishful thinking means nothing. There is no way to avoid the impact of COVID-19, and things will only get worse in Europe in the next 4 weeks (even if Italy stabilises).

      US just stoped flights from Europe, this past night, for instance.

      1. testes ? whose testes ?

        1. No one wants to go racing with infected testes, that just sounds uncomfortable.

        2. Sorry but keyboard was set to Portuguese, my mother tongue, and “tests” in PT is “testes” so I didn’t notice the typo until it was published.

          Bear in mind that this is the Internet and not everyone is an English native speaker ;-)

          1. Even I am not a native english speaker(3rd language), even I know issues with using native language keyboards. I avoid using autocorrect for that exact reason though for me number of conflicting words between english and marathi are negligible.

      2. US just stoped flights from Europe, this past night, for instance.

        That’s just because Trump doesn’t like the EU tbh @bakano

        “The European Union is a group of countries that got together to screw the United States — it’s as simple as that,” Trump said at a private dinner recorded by Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine fixer in 2018. “They’re worse than China in the sense of barriers; we lose 151 billion with them,” he added. “The European Union is really bad,” the president told the all-white group of donors. “You know it doesn’t sound like it, you know, the European Union, we’re all sort of from there, right?”

        1. @paeschli, the reason is irrelevant. There’s a ban and that will impact many people and also will impact motorsports (already did).

    3. Dear reader, please see: “Kimi Raikkonen believes the teams would have preferred to call off the grand prix.”

    4. It was clear weeks ago that it would be irresponsible to go ahead

    Comments are closed.