Melbourne: McLaren pulled out of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix Thursday after a team member tested positive for coronavirus, throwing the race into chaos.
The employee was among at least five Formula One personnel -- four from Haas -- who went into isolation this week after showing flu-like symptoms typical of the virus.
“The team member was tested and self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and will now be treated by local healthcare authorities,” McLaren said in a statement, adding that he would be quarantined.
“The decision (to withdraw) has been taken based on a duty of care not only to McLaren F1 employees and partners, but also to the team's competitors, Formula 1 fans and wider F1 stakeholders.”Results of the tests for the Haas staff have yet to be revealed.
Race in chaos
McLaren's decision to pull out casts doubt over whether the race will be run without a full complement of teams, and whether others will follow suit.
Meanwhile, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said they had not yet discussed what to do if any of their employees tested positive. “We'll cross that bridge when we get to it,” he said.
Australia has reported 150 cases of coronavirus so far, including among fans who attended the women's T20 Cricket World Cup final and a Super Rugby match, both in Melbourne last week....