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McLaren withdraw from the Australian GP after team member contracts coronavirus

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: McLaren pitstop equipment is pictured in the Pitlane during

McLaren have confirmed they are withdrawing from the Australian Grand Prix after a member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus.

All 10 Formula 1 teams arrived in Melbourne this week ready to take part in the first race of the 2020 season at the Albert Park circuit, but on Thursday McLaren released a statement announcing that they, and drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, would not take part in the event.

The statement read: “McLaren Racing has confirmed this evening in Melbourne that it has withdrawn from the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, following the positive test of a team member for the coronavirus. 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.

READ MORE: Coronavirus – The steps Formula 1 is taking

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 12: McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown and McLaren Team

Team chiefs Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl took the decision on Thursday

“The team has prepared for this eventuality and has ongoing support in place for its employee who will now enter a period of quarantine. The team is cooperating with the relevant local authorities to assist their investigations and analysis.

“Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, and Andreas Seidl, Team Principal of McLaren F1, informed Formula 1 and the FIA of the decision this evening. The decision 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.”

A statement issued by Formula 1 read: "Following the outcome of the test on a member the McLaren team, Formula 1 and the FIA have been in close contact with them on their decision and have been coordinating with all the relevant authorities on the next steps. Our priority is the safety of the fans, the teams and all personnel at the race."

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