Bahrain GP out of the question says Horner

MARCH 13, 2020

Bahrain GP out of the question says Horner

Christian Horner, Hungarian GP 2019
© RV Press

With Australia and China already called off, F1 insiders are no longer expecting any racing whatsoever until at least June in Baku.

After the McLaren team member tested positive for coronavirus in Melbourne on Friday, 14 of his teammates are now in quarantine for two weeks.

It is just one reason why Bahrain will not happen, and it is understood that Vietnam's cancellation is already set in stone as well.

But also Zandvoort, Barcelona and Monaco are now unlikely to take place.

"Based on the latest information we have, the grand prix is still scheduled for its original date," a spokesman for the Automobile Club de Monaco is quoted as saying.

However, almost no one else is that confident.

Insiders are reporting that Liberty Media and the FIA have essentially acknowledged that the season for now is on hold until June 7.

Dr Helmut Marko confirmed that, saying the August break could then be used to make up some lost races.

But Honda said that while the world is suffering from a pandemic, continuing to cancel races is "the only logical way forward".

"Let's hope the championship can resume as soon as it is safe to do so," said Honda spokesperson Katsuhide Moriyama.

Red Bull's Christian Horner said: "That there will be conversations about more postponements is inevitable.

"We need to see what the promoter has to say - they're more informed than us about the races in Europe."

By 'promoter', Horner is referring to F1's commercial rights holder Liberty Media. F1 CEO Chase Carey looked exhausted as he explained outside Albert Park's closed gates on Friday morning why Melbourne had to be cancelled.

As well as the absent FIA president Jean Todt, Carey is facing the fury of spectators, including those who lined up to enter the circuit early on Friday even after the decision to cancel the race had been taken internally.

Complex wrangling over legal matters, including financial liability, was behind the delay, but the teams were also split over whether to race during the course of the overnight meetings.

In the end, the FIA and Liberty Media's silence, and Australian GP organisers' hopes that the race could be held behind closed doors, was ended by Mercedes. The reigning world champions announced to the media that they had asked for the race to be cancelled.

However, Red Bull still wanted to race even after Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had left Melbourne for the airport.

"A number of teams changed their mind and did not want to race. The promoter had no choice and had to cancel the race," said Horner.

"Now we have to make sure we all get home safely. I think it's out of the question that we will be in Bahrain next week."

(GMM)

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