The Australian Grand Prix Corporation have issued an update as the coronavirus continues to threaten the race, while confirming a ninth person has now been tested.
McLaren have confirmed that they are withdrawing from the season-opener after one of their staff tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
Four employees at Haas were also tested, but all of them were cleared.
Now the Australian GP promoters have confirmed though that a ninth individual is being tested, believed to be a local photographer as reported by Motorsport.com.
The statement issued by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation’s CEO Andrew Westacott read: “The Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula 1 have been advised by the Victorian Chief Health Officer of the results of tests relating to eight personnel from the Formula 1 Paddock.
“Of these eight tests, seven individuals have returned a negative result confirming that they do not have the COVID-19 virus. An eighth individual has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“It has been confirmed that the individual was a member of the McLaren Racing Team. As a result of this, McLaren has announced its withdrawal from the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2020.
“The AGPC is currently in discussions with Formula 1, the FIA and the Department of Health and Human Services in relation to the broader implications of this test result.
“Additionally, a ninth individual has been assessed and tested for the COVID-19 virus, with the results of this test pending. This individual is not associated with any Formula 1 team, the FIA or associated suppliers.
“The AGPC will provide updates as further details become available.”
Formula 1 and the FIA have have been coordinating with all the relevant authorities on the next steps. Our priority is the safety of the fans, the teams and all personnel at the race.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 12, 2020
A statement issued by the FIA and Formula 1 read: “Following the outcome of the test on a member the McLaren team, F1 and FIA have been in close contact with them on their decision and have been coordinating with all relevant authorities on next steps. Our priority is the safety of the fans, teams and all personnel at the race.”