What a week…month…year its been so far and we’re only in March. This week after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially labeled the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic, things quickly took a turn around the world.
As we are all being urged to practice increased hand washing, social distancing and staying away from large crowds, the latter part of the week started seeing a number of events being cancelled worldwide.
On March 12th, Australian Grand Prix organizers, Formula 1 and the FIA have all agreed to cancel the season opener in Melbourne due to the coronavirus pandemic. This announcement came just hours after one of the staff members from the McLaren team was tested positive for the COVID-19 strain and the team pulled out of the race.
“We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course.
All parties took into consideration the huge efforts of the AGPC, Motorsport Australia, staff and volunteers to stage the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, however concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition take priority.”
The Bahrain Grand Prix (scheduled next weekend) and Vietnam Grand Prix (scheduled for early April) have also been postponed. Formula 1 and FIA are now predicting that the start of the season will be delayed until May.
Let’s hope with an increase in hygiene precautions, we are able to contain this virus from spreading to catastrophic numbers. In the meantime, what automotive projects are you making a list of to keep yourself busy? At least orders are still shipping out!