McLaren won’t ‘risk’ staff in coronavirus outbreak

Michelle Foster
McLaren boss Zak Brown

Zak Brown has been assured by Chase Carey that Liberty Media is keeping an eye on the situation in Vietnam after deciding to postpone this season’s Chinese GP.

China and Vietnam share a border.

But while Formula 1 made the call earlier this week to postpone the Chinese Grand Prix, the inaugural Vietnam GP is still going ahead as scheduled.

Vietnam has locked down the village of Son Loi, bout 40km north-west of Hanoi, after seven people contracted the coronavirus.

The country has 16 confirmed cases.

Brown admits he has concerns but says F1 is monitoring the situation.

He told “I actually spoke with Chase [Carey] two days ago about China before the official announcement came out.

“Obviously the wellbeing of McLaren and the greater world is of utmost importance.

“Vietnam’s has not been raised yet as a potential issue but obviously it is very nearby and neighbouring China so we are going to monitor the situation.

“We would never do anything that puts our people at risk, and I don’t believe Formula 1 would as well. So I think, like the rest of the world, we will just continue to monitor the situation.”

F1’s owner, Liberty Media, has reportedly asked the teams to consent to finding a slot later in the calender.

They proposed either the weekend after Hungary or the weekend between Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

But while the first means a shorter summer break, the latter would mean a triple-header.

According to Auto Motor und Sport the teams said no.

Brown added: “This is a new situation for all of us, we are all in the same situation and it is unforeseen and unheard of.

“I know some races have been cancelled in the past but not necessarily what we are facing here. I think we will just have to react when we know more and it will be the same for everyone.

“First and foremost it is a terrible situation for the world and I hope it gets resolved. Other things, such as sport, doesn’t matter when it comes to things like this. Hopefully it will get resolved and we will respond accordingly.

“If there is a month off, then there’s a month off. Maybe Chase might look for new races to fill that gap but I think that it is a very fluid situation.”

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