By Andrew Benson
Chief F1 author in Melbourne
Lewis Hamilton states it is “stunning” that Solution 1 has actually pressed ahead with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic.
” I am really, really amazed we are here,” the world champion said in the main news conference on Thursday.
” It’s terrific we have races however it’s stunning we are sitting in this space.”
Hamilton’s comments came as 5 F1 employee were encouraged to enter into isolation after establishing symptoms that might be related to coronavirus.
The Mercedes driver expressed issues about the numbers of fans attending the season-opening event and F1’s action to the crisis in the wake of other sporting events being cancelled and increasing travel restrictions around the world.
“[There are] numerous fans there and it appears like the remainder of the world is responding – probably a little bit late,” Hamilton said.
” However we are seeing Trump closing down the borders, the NBA has been suspended yet F1 continues to go on.”
It was said on Wednesday that results of the tests on the five staff member – 4 from Haas and one from McLaren – would be revealed within 24 to 72 hours.
But Hamilton, asked whether the race must be called off if they were favorable, expressed cynicism that it would be prior to race day on Sunday.
” It is a significant decision,” he stated, “however I heard the result is not going to return for 5 days – coincidentally.”
And asked why F1 was continuing, Hamilton said: “Cash is king.”
He added: “I simply urge everyone to be as mindful as you can be – touching doors; I hope everyone has hand sanitiser.
” I saw all the fans going on like it was a typical day, but I do not believe it is. I actually hope we go through the weekend and do not see any fatalities.”
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel included: “It is extremely hard having a reasonable judgement, but I do understand a great deal of sporting competitors get cancelled and it is reasonable to ask the question why you are here.
” We have need to trust [motorsport’s governing body] FIA and for them to take all the preventative measures but the answer no one can give you is how much you can manage what is going on.”
Vettel included that it was a complicated scenario to which individuals were reacting in different methods.
” You attempt to manage the scenario for yourself as much as you can,” he stated. “Some are more unwinded about handshakes, some not. Some laugh it off.
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” I don’t understand how major it is. You have to put yourself in other individuals’s hands. We did in getting here. The flights weren’t cancelled. However within that you are in your own bubble and you attempt to control it as much as you can. It is ideal to make sure and take safety measures – just how much, there are a great deal of questions that are extremely difficult to respond to.”
Vettel is among three directors of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, which takes a cumulative stance on essential concerns within F1.
Asked if the drivers would decline to race if there were a considerable number of coronavirus cases amongst F1 workers, or if somebody died, Vettel said: “My stand would be hope it does not get that far. If it gets that far, you ‘d pull the handbrake.”
F1 and the FIA say they have actually been following the advice of regional authorities as to whether events can proceed.
|Australian Grand Prix protection details (all times GMT)|
|Date||Session||Time||Radio coverage||Text commentary|
|Chequered Flag podcast: Australian Grand Prix evaluation – download here as soon as the race has finished|
|Thursday, 12 March||Sneak Peek||21: 00-22: 00 – listen here||BBC Radio 5 Live|
|Friday, 13 March||Very first practice||00: 55-02: 35||BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Bonus||From 00: 30|
|Second practice||04: 55-06: 35||BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Additional||From 04: 30|
|Saturday, 14 March||3rd practice||02: 55-04: 05||BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Additional||From 02: 30|
|Qualifying||05: 55-07: 05||BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra||From 05: 00|
|Sunday, 15 March||Race||04: 30-07: 00||BBC Radio 5 Live||From 03: 30|
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