Carey: In hindsight you look at things differently

Michelle Foster
Australian GP empty stands Melbourne PA

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey feels it has been too easy to criticise F1’s handling of the coronavirus situation, especially in hindsight.

Despite many countries banning large gatherings and sporting events, Formula 1 pressed on with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Earlier this week the 2,000-strong paddock arrived in Melbourne after which one McLaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus.

McLaren immediately pulled out of the grand prix weekend, citing a “care of duty” to everyone else involved in the sport.

The following morning Formula 1 bosses, led by Carey, made the decision to cancel the Australian Grand Prix.

“I think we made the right decision as it evolved,” said the American.

“I think we feel we worked well with all of our partners to make that decision.

“Obviously we don’t control how various events evolve — specifically some of the infections and some of the illnesses.

“We felt we made the right decision when we moved here.”

However, with one McLaren team personnel sick with the virus and 14 others in quarantine, Carey and F1’s handling of the matter has been called into question.

“In hindsight you’re always going to look at things differently,” he continued.

“So it’s difficult to go back and look at it moving forward.

“In many places around the world, clearly the situation in just 24–48 hours is very different than it was not that long ago.

“People were traveling through Europe and the United States; within 24 hours they are no longer traveling between those countries.

“So I think these are issues that you have to deal with in real time, make efficient, effective decisions and try and make sure you’re getting all the input and expertise you can to do the right thing.

“I think we got to the right place.”

While Carey initially stated after the Australian GP cancellation that he would not immediately call off Bahrain and Vietnam, Formula 1 has now announced that neither race will go ahead.

In fact the sport may be on hold until May’s Monaco GP.

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