With 15 of his staff in self-isolation in Melbourne, one of whom is positive for the coronavirus, Andreas Seidl has vowed not to leave, saying he’s staying in Australia to “support them”.
Formula 1’s Australian GP weekend went from season-opener to nightmare on Thursday.
While earlier in the week it was revealed that one McLaren staff member was being tested for Covid-19 after spiking a fever, confirmation came on Thursday evening that the unnamed person was positive.
McLaren immediately withdrew from the Australian GP, sparking a string of meetings that ended with race being called off.
The Woking team subsequently announced that 14 other staff were in self-isolation.
“Overnight, 14 members of the team, in addition to the one confirmed case, were placed in quarantine at the team hotel for 14 days, in accordance with local health authority directives,” read Friday’s statement.
As the rest of the McLaren squad, and the F1 paddock as a whole, packed up, McLaren said that “senior” personnel would stay behind with the 15.
One of those is team boss Seidl.
Speaking to F1-Insider.com, he said: “I sorted out the team all night and now I am staying with my employees in Melbourne – just to support them.”
The German touched on McLaren’s withdrawal, a decision made CEO Zak Brown.
Seidl says McLaren had no option but to withdraw as the safety of the rest of the team was a “top priority”.
“I had to act immediately and decided to withdraw the team from the race,” he explained.
“My decision was fully supported by the team owners.
“There was no other option for me.
“In such a case, the safety of my employees is my top priority.”