RACE DEBRIEF

    For the first time since 1954, Monaco’s streets will not echo to the sound of F1 machinery after the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) announced the cancellation of this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

    It had earlier been announced that the race had been postponed, but the ACM have since clarified that “with great sadness” the race will be cancelled.

    The race, which this year was scheduled for 21-24 May, has been held every year since 1955, having begun in 1929. The Historic Monaco Grand Prix, which is held ahead of the F1 race, has also been cancelled.

    In a statement the ACO said: “The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the FIA F1 World Championship 2020, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams, the consequences with regards to the differing measures of confinement as taken by various governments worldwide, the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable.”

    They added that “under no circumstances will it be possible to organise these events later this year.”

    The FIA announced on Thursday that the introduction of the new 2021 rules have been deferred until 2022, with work on a revised calendar ongoing.

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    This weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled. The news follows McLaren’s withdrawal from the race on Thursday, after one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus.

    A statement issued jointly by F1, governing body the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation read: "Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.

    "Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix are cancelled.

    "We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course.

    "All parties took into consideration the huge efforts of the AGPC, Motorsport Australia, staff and volunteers to stage the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, however concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition take priority."