How drivers reacted to the cancellation of the Australian GP

Clive Mason/Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia -- It may have taken longer than anyone ever expected, or had hoped, but in the end the correct call was made with Formula One, the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation coming together to cancel the season-opening Australian Grand Prix amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Doubt was already surrounding the race in Melbourne, but when a McLaren team member tested positive to the COVID-19 virus on Thursday evening, and the team subsequently withdraw itself from the event, it quickly became clear the grand prix weekend could not go ahead as planned.

Formula One officially cancelled the race at 10:08am [AEDT], sending thousands of fans away from Albert Park. The Australian Grand Prix confirmed all ticket holders would be receiving a refund.

Within minutes of Formula One's announcement, drivers began posting their own messages to social media.

While many were disappointed the beginning of the season had to be postponed, all were completely understanding of the decision.

Spare a thought for Canadian Nicholas Latifi.

The 24-year-old was set to make his Formula One debut in Melbourne, racing with Williams, but alas his first grand prix will have to wait.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled to run behind closed doors on March 22nd, but it remains to be seen whether the status of that race changes in the wake of Australia being cancelled.

Last month, the Chinese Grand Prix, which was set to take place on April 19th, was postponed. Formula One is still hoping to reschedule the Shanghai event in the second half of the year.