McLaren have confirmed that the Formula 1 team members who were in self-isolation in Melbourne have all returned safely home.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the growing global threat of COVID-19, Formula 1 still planned to get their 2020 season underway with the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit two weekends ago.
Practice was scheduled to commence on Friday, March 13 around the 16-turn, 3.296-mile (5.304-kilometer) road course in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, and qualifying was scheduled to take place the following day. The season was officially set to begin with the 58-lap race on Sunday, March 15.
Skip ahead to not even two weeks later, and the first eight races, including this one, on what was once a record-breaking 22-race schedule have been either postponed or canceled.
Formula 1 postponements and cancellations: TRACKER
What started it all was the fact that a McLaren team member had tested positive for COVID-19, and that led to the team officially withdrawing their two drivers, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris, from the race.
While it surprisingly took several hours after this was revealed, the decision was then made to call off the event. Several drivers had even left the track before this decision was made, so it was ultimately an easy call to make.
It is worth noting that several other Formula 1 team members who were in attendance for this race were tested for the virus, but this particular McLaren team member was the only one who tested positive.
Just a few days later, McLaren revealed the great news that the team member who had been infected was doing well and showing no symptoms of the virus, a great sign of recovery given what we know about this infection as of now.
A total of 14 McLaren team members who came in contact with this employee were placed in quarantine for 14 days, and team racing director Andreas Stella remained in Australia to support them.
Now, McLaren have revealed more great news.
All 14 of these team members and those who stayed with them in Melbourne have safely returned home.
At a time of so much uncertainty and fear such as this, let’s appreciate this awesome development for what it is, even though there is still a long road ahead before Formula 1 returns to action.
As of now, the 2020 Formula 1 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, June 14 with the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but that remains subject to change.
2020 Formula 1 schedule: TRACKER
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.