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Vasseur: Unfair to race in Melbourne without McLaren

  • Published on 17 Mar 2020 12:34
  • comments 4
  • By: Coilin Higgins

Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur has said that it would have been considered unfair to go ahead with the Australian Grand Prix without McLaren on the grid.

McLaren decided to withdraw from the weekend last Thursday when it was confirmed that a member of the team had tested positive for coronavirus.

The withdrawal then set about a number of meetings between teams and circuit officials, with the weekend eventually cancelled two hours before the start of Friday's first free practice session.

It is understood that Alfa Romeo was one of four remaining teams that opted for a cancellation of the weekend during a meeting with F1 managing director Ross Brawn on Thursday night.

“As a racer it’s difficult to take this kind of decision,” Vasseur told Autosport.

“But firstly we have to think about our employees, the safety of the fans, the image of the sport, the image of the sponsors, and also about McLaren, because it would have been a bit unfair to have let them withdraw alone. I think it was the right decision.

“It’s not easy for the team, because everybody pushed like hell to be on time in Melbourne, on the race team but also back in the factory. But we have to take the decision, perhaps it’s a shame that it’s a bit too late. But it exploded so quickly.”

Next few weeks should be taken 'step-by-step'

Soon after the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, F1 announced that the coming rounds in Bahrain and Vietnam will also be postponed, with the Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix still awaiting a final decision.

Vasseur explained that the outbreak of coronavirus across the globe is currently a much bigger problem and that the right decisions need to be made in order to contain the outbreak and get back racing as soon as possible.

“The situation is not easy, it’s a huge disaster all over the world," Vasseur added. "F1 is not the centre of the world, so let’s do it step-by-step. The first step is not an easy one.”

Replies (4)

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  • It would be... unless they made the race into a non-pointscoring event.

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2020 - 12:36
  • f1ski

    Posts: 616

    Is anything fair? Racing is about luck and preparation. They were there they were ready they were exposed.
    Wouldn't be the first time a team didn't finish with both cars out of the points. Making lemonade out of lemons. Should;d have let teams run on the circuit. test

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2020 - 12:45
    • Manto02

      Posts: 61

      Yes but first, McLaren withdraw was done to avoid the virus spread, you can see how easily it spreads after some members of mercedes and Pirelli were tested positive.
      In second place, racing without a team who paid to race in the championship means not giving to that team the chance to win prizes at the end of the year. What if McLaren is the best car on grid and loses the championship by a couple of points that could have been made in this race? It's different from a double dnf, because with the double dnf the team had at least the chance to race and try to give his best

      • + 0
      • Mar 17 2020 - 13:35
  • Manto02

    Posts: 61

    Funny thing is Ross brawn was like "if a team can't race there will be no race" and then when one team couldn't race Fia until two hours before the start of fp1 was like "fuck it, let's try to have a race without McLaren"

    • + 0
    • Mar 17 2020 - 13:38

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    12:00 - 13:00

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  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

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    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

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