The 2020 Australian Grand Prix will go off as planned.
There had been some talk of having it run without spectators; similar to what is in line for the March 22 Bahrain Grand Prix, yet the organisers in Australia do not see cause to run the Australian Grand Prix to empty stands.
Three is some level of confidence following a record crowd of around 86,000 at the MCG for the Women’s T20 World Cup final.
It is a major element of uncertainty around how the coronavirus could affect Australia.
Lost in all the fear-mongering number of infections and deaths is the fact that many people could be infected with coronavirus, yet experience very mild symptoms. It does seem as though the level of hysteria is out of proportion to the actual risk from the virus.
When asked about a spectator-less Australian Grand Prix, the head of the corporation for the event, Michael Westacott said, “Not a chance.”
Westacott was upbeat and summed up a more common sense approach to the virus threat when he said, “When you look at 86,000 at the MCG last night … we’ve got to go around things sensibly and keep moving on through life while taking the necessary precautions.”
Most of the F1 teams are based in England. The number of tested and confirmed cases there was recently reported as 319, with four deaths.
Ferrari and AlphaTauri are based in Italy, but Westacott indicated that the cars are in country, with the associated personnel expected in the next day or so.
Someone with more medical expertise than Westacott, Australian government chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy, took the view that the risk of community transmission of the illness is minimal-to-non-existent.
“There’s no evidence of community transmission in Victoria at the moment,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “I’m not feeling at all concerned going to mass gatherings or walking down the streets in Victoria. So I don’t think that there’s a risk at the Grand Prix.”