Melbourne in constant dialogue with F1 bosses


Despite the assurance of Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) CEO, Andrew Westacott on Monday that next week's race will go ahead despite the global threat from the coronavirus, it was made clear that the final decision may not be in their hands.

A day earlier, the first two rounds of the MotoGP season were cancelled, while there is already talk that this summer's Tokyo Olympics could be scrapped.

Though Vietnam and Bahrain have since issued restrictions on travel, F1 managing director, Ross Brawn has said that if any teams are refused entry to a country that particular race would not go ahead, certainly not as a round of the Formula One World Championship, suggesting that the event could still happen but be classed as non-championship.

Speaking to Melbourne sports radio station SEN, Westacott has admitted that as the virus continues to spread and governments around the world step up measures to contain it, AGPC bosses are in constant contact with FOM.

"Our job at the Grand Prix Corporation is to plan and deliver," said Westacott, "but we've got to think of all the eventualities, and it's a bit like a Formula 1 team; you've got to have contingencies, you've got to have back-ups, and you've got to consider all options.

"I've avoided using the words 'business as usual' because in an environment like this, it's anything but, but the event is going ahead and so we're saying it's 'all systems go'.

"When it comes to dealing with contingencies and situations, whether that be weather-related or team-related or crowd-related or even tram-related, as has been overcome, we've just got to work out what the processes are that we put in place to deliver the event.

"The event is 'all systems go', but we've got to work and be very, very adaptable," he added, "and we're probably speaking to the Formula 1 people at both ends of the day; they're updating us, we're updating them, they're updating the teams, the FIA medical people are being updated by the Chief Health Officers and so on, and there's a process in place to make sure that everyone gets here and the event occurs."

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Published: 04/03/2020
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