McLaren announced on Thursday evening that one of its crew had tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the team to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix.
Talks between the teams led to the cancellation of the race on Friday morning, with uncertainty remaining over the upcoming races still scheduled. In a further update issued by McLaren on Friday morning, it was confirmed 14 team members would be placed in quarantine at its hotel in Melbourne.
“Overnight, 14 members of the team, in addition to the one confirmed case, were placed in quarantine at the team hotel for 14 days, in accordance with local health authority directives,” the statement reads. “These are individuals who had been in close contact with the team member who tested positive for coronavirus. These individuals are being supported by senior team personnel, who will stay behind with them during the quarantine period.
“Any other team members who show symptoms will be tested immediately and self-isolate, in line with our protocol.
“Other members of the team have been cleared to return to the paddock to pack down team equipment before travelling back to the UK. On arrival in the UK, no race team member will return to the McLaren Technology Centre for a period of 14 days, as a precautionary measure.”
McLaren added in the statement that it fully supported the decision taken by F1, the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to cancel the event.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown wrote on Twitter: “I applaud the decision by F1, the FIA and the AGPC to cancel the Australian GP. The health and safety of the F1 family and local community must come first.
“As a racer, this was the most difficult decision I have had to take. As a CEO, it was the easiest decision to take.”