Chase Carey has refuted Lewis Hamilton’s claims that “cash is king”, saying if that was the case F1 would not have cancelled the Australian GP weekend.
Formula 1 flew over to Australia for the start of the 2020 World Championship.
Hamilton, speaking to the media on Thursday, he was “surprised” and “shocked” by the decision as the rest of the world was closing down its sporting leagues.
Asked why he felt F1 was in Australia, the six-time World Champion replied: “Cash is king.”
He added: “But honestly I don’t know. I can’t really add much.
“I don’t feel like I should shy away from the fact of my opinion.”
That opinion made headlines around the world.
Hours later McLaren reported the first positive case of the coronavirus in the paddock with one staff member testing positive.
Ten hours later Formula 1 finally announced that the Australian Grand Prix would not go ahead. That announcement came two hours before the start of FP1.
Carey says it is proof that Liberty Media is not putting money ahead of safety.
“If cash was king we wouldn’t have made the decision we did today,” he told Motorsportweek.com.
“I have addressed this so I can keep saying the same thing, in hindsight obviously things look different, events evolve situations change we made a decision which given the lead time to come here and hold the event when major events were being held here it was a different situation in the world.
“As the situation changed day to day in some days hour to hour we continued to evaluate that and make the appropriate decisions going forward. We were trying to digest a lot of different information to make the right decision at the right time and I think we did that.”
Carey, though, is at this moment in time refusing to cancel either the Bahrain or Vietnam races.
Those decisions he says will be made in the coming days.