Marko: Others wanted to race but had no engines

Date published: March 17 2020

Marko: Others wanted to race but had no engines

Red Bull and AlphaTauri weren’t the only teams wanting to race in Melbourne, they were just the only ones who had engines with neither Ferrari nor Mercedes keen to go ahead.

Last Thursday Formula 1 debated whether to continue with the Australian GP weekend after a McLaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ferrari was reportedly deadset against it while Mercedes said yes and then no after Toto Wolff spoke with the big bosses over in Germany.

Mercedes’ decision to switch sides swung the vote and hours later Formula 1 announced that the Australian Grand Prix had been cancelled.

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko wanted to race.

“We would have been ready to race,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“There was a corona case in the paddock. Now that everyone was already there, you could have started free practice, carried out further examinations and then made a final decision.”

He then implied that Ferrari and Mercedes prevented their customers from voting yes.

“Others were ready,” he said, “but they wouldn’t have got an engine.”

Asked why the decision to cancel the grand prix took all night, he replied: “Because certain people have changed their minds several times.”

There was also the question of liability and who would fit the bill for cancelling the race.

“It will definitely be a liability issue now,” Marko explained. “As far as I understand, there was an okay from the organiser and the health authorities.”

The big question now is when will Formula 1 race.

While some reports claim Monaco in late May could be the first race of the championship, Marko believes the season won’t begin until June’s Baku grand prix.

“We assume that the first race will only take place in Baku.

“There is currently such uncertainty that everything stands still.

“I would bring the summer break forward and then drive a very intense season from Baku.”

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