Vasseur: Any other decision would have been scandalous

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur has voiced his support for the cancellation of the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, indicating it was the only sensible decision Formula 1 could make.

Cancelled on Friday morning after McLaren had withdrawn due to a positive COVID-19 test for one of its team members the night before, Vasseur told Blick that the decision was “correct and in line with the problems the world is facing”.

That said, Vasseur’s stance was not one unanimously adopted in the paddock, as Alfa Romeo was one of only four teams — the others being McLaren, Ferrari and Renault — who voted for the race to be cancelled after the news had broke.

Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Racing Point and Mercedes voted to continue, while Haas and Williams abstained.

Speaking for the teams in favour of continuing, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko told Auto Motor und Sport that he didn’t see why a decision needed to be made so quickly, suggesting that “you could have started free practice, carried out further examinations and then made a final decision.”

However for Vasseur, it was an issue that had become bigger than the sport itself.

“The number of deaths is steadily increasing and Formula 1 is not at the centre of the world,” he said. “We must respect the extraordinary state of emergency that we are experiencing on all continents. Any other decision would have been scandalous.”