After a wild back and forth on Thursday evening, European time, the 2020 Australian Grand Prix has now been officially cancelled.
After hundreds of fans had already gathered at the gates of the track, the health authorities informed the organizers that the event may only take place without spectators.
Earlier it had already become known that some of the drivers had started their return journey to Europe and that the Formula 1 teams had started packing up after entering the paddock.
Shortly before the official cancellation of the race Mercedes published a statement that they asked the FIA to cancel the race out of concern for the health of their staff. Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and McLaren employees had not arrived in time for the opening of the paddock.
McLaren Racing had already cancelled their participation in the race on Thursday, after a confirmed Corona case of a team member.
It is completely unclear whether the next race in Bahrain will take place now, or whether the Formula 1 season will actually start with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.