Red Bull boss Christian Horner said Formula 1 was considering locking the paddock in his attempts to chase the Australian Grand Prix, but did not get the support of the teams.
In the wake of a member of the McLaren team contracting a coronavirus, the Woking-based outfit has withdrawn from the opening of the season in Melbourne.
The move prompted late-night talks Thursday with the nine other teams, as well as F1 and FIA chiefs, to discuss next steps.
Speaking to Autosport about these discussions, Horner said he was in favor of continuing under certain circumstances – which included an isolated event for everyone except the F1 staff.
“We obviously discussed the different scenarios,” he said. “There was talk of locking the paddock and taking extra precautions.
“The health authority and the FIA agreed to continue, if the majority of the teams agreed. But unfortunately, that did not happen.”
The idea of continuing to race Friday to allow for a more thorough assessment of the situation failed to gain majority support, prompting F1 to call to cancel the race.
Horner is clear that he was ready to try to continue with the weekend, and said it was “frustrating” that questions had been taken from his team.
“It is obviously very disappointing not to run,” he said. “But we have to take into account the health of our staff and our staff and, in the end, the FIA and the promoter decided to cancel the event. It is frustrating.”
F1 general manager of motorsport, Ross Brawn, who participated in the team discussions and allegedly aided the continuation of the event, said the sport was being caught up by the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Formula 1 has to work, we have to make it work, so we looked at the big picture and when we decided to go there, we looked at the different dynamics,” he said on the official website. of F1.
“What probably surprised everyone was the rapid expansion of this problem.
“The escalation of new cases, certainly in countries like Italy, where it has become almost vertical. No one could have expected it.
“I talked to [Ferrari chief] Mattia Binotto several times in the past few weeks, his mood has changed in the past five or seven days, compared to what he saw in Italy.
“So we were on this boat that sailed and we were optimistic that we could cross it, that we could start Formula 1 and bring some relief in difficult times.
“Once we got it right, once a team couldn’t run because of it, we clearly had a problem that we had to fix.”