AceShowbiz - Lewis Hamilton is "very surprised" by the decision made by Formula One bosses to go ahead with the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, March 15.
It comes as, according to The Guardian, up to eight F1 team members have been tested for Covid-19 and placed into self-isolation.
Reflecting on the decision, the six-time world champion criticised Formula One officials for putting profit ahead of its personnel and putting them and at least 100,000 fans scheduled to attend the event at risk just as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a global pandemic.
"I am really very, very surprised that we are here," he said, reported The Guardian. "I think it's really shocking that we are all sitting in this room. There are so many fans here today and it seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late, but we have already seen this morning that (U.S. President Donald) Trump has shut down the borders with Europe to the States and you are seeing the NBA (National Basketball Association) being suspended, yet Formula One continues to go on."
"It's a concern I think for the people here – it's quite a big circus that's come here and it's definitely concerning for me."
When asked why he thought it was going ahead Hamilton pointedly noted: "Cash is king. I can't add much more to it. I don't feel like I should shy away from my opinion."
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel insisted that the drivers would act collectively to desist from racing were there to be any fatalities associated with F1 from the coronavirus, adding "If it were to get that far, then for sure you would pull the handbrake... We share a common opinion on big decisions and that would qualify as a very big decision."
The Australian Grand Prix takes place at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne.