March 13, 2020
A decision to cancel the race was made in the early hours of Friday morning after a McLaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus in Melbourne. The race's abandonment was not made official for another eight hours. By that time Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen had flown home. And McLaren said later on Friday that 14 further team members had been placed in quarantine in their hotel for the next 14 days because of their close contact with the infected employee. The decision throws into doubt the rest of the F1 season, with the Bahrain Grand Prix due to take place next weekend without spectators the next race to come under scrutiny. BBC Sport understands Ferrari were the first team to make it clear they were not prepared to race in Melbourne in the circumstances. Confirmation of the abandonment in from the FIA and F1 came after Mercedes sent a letter requesting the cancellation of the race.