Pirelli has announced a member of its Formula 1 operations has tested positive for the coronavirus in Melbourne following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the paddock at the cancelled Australian GP.

The 2020 F1 opening round at Albert Park was belatedly called off after a McLaren team personnel tested positive for COVID-19 which duly saw the Woking team withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, as it placed 14 team members into self-isolation in a bid to contain the spread within its ranks.

12 hours after the confirmed case, Australian GP and F1 organisers officially cancelled the race, two hours before the scheduled start of FP1 and with fans queueing outside the circuit gates, leaving F1 teams to pack up and return to their respective headquarters.

The majority of F1 squads have put their travelling team members into self-isolation and kept them away from their respective bases, while Ferrari has shutdown its entire operations in Maranello in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

But it appears the coronavirus spread further than initially feared with a Pirelli team member testing positive for COVID-19.

"A member of the Pirelli F1 team has yesterday tested positive for COVID-19 in Melbourne. The person concerned is now following all the relevant procedures put in place by the Australian health authorities," a Pirelli team statement read.

"These authorities have confirmed to Pirelli that this person has not had any contact with third parties that requires special preventive measures to be taken for other people.

"Pirelli is closely monitoring the situation in line with public health policies and company guidelines."

The 2020 F1 season has been postponed until the end of May despite the provisional inclusion of the Dutch GP (May 3) and Spanish GP (May 10), which are expected to be rescheduled along with the Bahrain and Vietnamese rounds which were postponed last week.

The Australian GP looks set to be cancelled for this year along with the likely cancellation of the Chinese GP after its initial postponement amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

 

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