Formula One: Two more Haas staff members isolated over coronavirus fear

Formula One: Two more Haas staff members isolated over coronavirus fear

Coming to the final decision has been a saga in itself with McLaren announcing their withdrawal soon after the positive test was confirmed.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz said on Thursday everyone in the paddock at the Australian Grand Prix is concerned about the coronavirus outbreak and that only time will tell if ploughing ahead with the Formula One season-opener is the right decision.

Four members of the Haas team, believed to be one engineer and three mechanics, were also tested for coronavirus after displaying symptoms, the report said.

The team's statement added that it has been prepared for this eventuality and the employee will enter a period of quarantine. It reads: "Following the outcome of the test on a member the McLaren team, F1 and FIA have been in close contact with them on their decision and have been coordinating with all relevant authorities on next steps".

F1 now faces a nervous wait to find out the results of the tests, with Melbourne medical chiefs warning that if staff are found to have the virus then it is likely their teams will need to be put into quarantine.

On Thursday at Albert Park, reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton claimed he was "shocked" and "very surprised" the race weekend hadn't been called off or postponed given the health risks it poses for everyone involved.

One member from McLaren and two from team Haas were evaluated at Albert Circuit's isolation unit after presenting with fever.

While F1 prepares to race, Formula E recently canceled the inaugural Jakarta E-Prix scheduled for June 6. "I think in motorsport it's great that we have racing, but I think it's really shocking that we are all sitting in this room".

The Australian Grand Prix time for the qualifying session starts from 11:30 AM IST and will go on till 12:30 PM IST on Saturday, March 14.

Later on, asked by F1 had been so determined to push on with the race, he said: "Cash is king, but honestly I don't know. It seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late, but we have seen (US president) Donald Trump shut down the borders from Europe to the United States, the National Basketball Association has been suspended, yet Formula One continues to go on".

Seven returned negative results, with the individual from McLaren testing positive.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it".

"The advice is if people are unwell they should not be going to work or events, whether it's F1 or a wedding - they should be self-isolating and staying home and potentially be tested", Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said.

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