Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says F1’s situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak remains a “moving target” susceptible to change on an hourly basis.
The latest update on the effects of the novel virus which originated in China state that 88,000 people have been infected while the death toll has reached 3,000.
Formula 1 obviously isn’t immune to the novel virus’ outbreak, and a cluster of cases in northern Italy has forced Ferrari and Scuderia AlphaTauri to initiate precautionary measures.
As the widespread infection grows, uncertainty has emerged about whether the upcoming opening races of the 2020 season could be at risk of being cancelled.
MotoGP has just scrapped its first two rounds in Qatar and Thailand, but Australian GP boss Andrew Westacott has ensured that the race will proceed as scheduled.
“I think we are all hopeful that Mercedes don’t make it through, that would be wishful thinking,” joked Horner in Barcelona before seriously addressing the issue.
“In all seriousness we have to follow guidance from the countries, governments and our own governments and governing bodies.
“Chase Carey was here this morning [on Friday] so we had a quick update with him.
“It is a moving target. It changes almost by the hour at the moment so I think we have to keep a watching brief, be responsible in how we act and logistically moving people around the world at the moment has its challenges.
“Everybody is finding out which hubs they will be going through en route to Australia.
“As I said it is a moving target so all we can do is follow the advice of the governing body and the local governments.”
Haas boss Guenther Steiner is confident Formula 1’s chiefs will put processes in place with the Australian GP’s organisers that will ensure the safe access of teams to Melbourne.
“I think, going into Australia, they will make sure that we all get in and that we all get out,” Steiner said.
“Getting in is one thing and getting out is the next one. There are worse places to get stuck in than Australia but we have a job to do and we need to come back.
“But as far as I know FOM and the FIA are really working on that to make sure that everything goes ahead in an organised manner without surprises.
“We have got everybody going by Dubai and not via Hong Kong or Singapore, so we are OK on that one.
“I don’t know how the other teams are flying but I’m sure FOM and the FIA, they will work this out for us because they are in contact with the local authorities and they can make these decisions.”