Update: The 2020 F1 Australian GP has been cancelled

Formula 1 fans have been barred from entering the Albert Park circuit amid uncertainty and confusion over whether the Australian Grand Prix will go ahead.

Fans were not allowed into the Melbourne venue when the gates were due to open at 0845am local time and it was later confirmed by Victoria premier Daniel Andrews that they will be banned from the race - if it does go ahead - following new advice from Victoria’s chief health officer.

The Australian Grand Prix is expected to be called off after McLaren announced it had withdrawn from the season-opener after one of its team members tested positive for coronavirus.

“The chief health officer updated his advice and that’s been communicated to grand prix organisers,” Andrews said.

“Now they are making the choice between no event or an event without fans. But at the very least, there will be no fans at the grand prix this weekend.”

While race organisers have stressed Friday’s running is set to go ahead as planned - with opening practice scheduled to take place at 1200 local time - there has been no official comment from F1 or the FIA.

It followed a team meeting on Thursday night with a vote on whether to race ending in a 5-5 tie. F1 needs at least 12 cars to participate for a world championship round to go ahead.

Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Racing Point and Williams were the only teams to turn up at the paddock gates when the curfew ended, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen already understood to have flown home.

Other teams who do not wish to participate are in the process of arranging flights out of Melbourne on Friday.

An update from the FIA on the developing situation is expected soon. 

 

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