Webber: F1 and Aus GP ‘did what they could’

Date published: May 10 2020 - Jamie Woodhouse

Mark Webber defends handling of Australian GP.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has defended the series’ bosses and the Australian GP race promoters over their handling of the race.

Back in March the 2020 season was due to begin with the Australian Grand Prix, but just hours before FP1 it was cancelled after a chain of events triggered by the current global health crisis.

The fact that a decision took so long in coming drew criticism from some, but Webber thinks the promoters of his home event and the Formula 1 bosses “did what they could”.

“It was so close to be happening,” he told the Australian 9now show. “We were dealing with hours at that point, weren’t we, on a global stage?

“I think that having everyone here, they were trying to do what they could. There was a few unfortunate positive tests in the paddock at that point. And the sort of capitulation point was quite nasty, the fans had arrived of course.

“It was hard to keep it quiet. There was leaking media overnight through in Italy and BBC with the UK, the time zones over there so when we woke up over here. The media, as it is, we love them. But they were onto it.

“They did what they could, the event, at that time. We needed Chase Carey, the CEO, the boss of Formula 1 to come down here and get boots on the ground and help call the event off with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.”

The 2020 season is scheduled to start in Austria from July 3-5, potentially as part of a double-header at the Red Bull Ring.

The plan is then to move on to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for multiple rounds, but potential changes to the lockdown restrictions in the UK could yet threaten the race.

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