Lewis Hamilton 'surprised' F1's Australian GP opener is going ahead
"It's pretty shocking we are all sitting in this room," says Hamilton; F1 and Australian GP say they continue to monitor coronavirus situation with precautionary measures in place this weekend
By James Galloway in Melbourne
Last Updated: 12/03/20 5:53pm
Lewis Hamilton has said he is "very surprised" that F1's season-opening Australian GP is going ahead this weekend amid the coronavirus outbreak
The F1 world champion expressed his views at the Thursday press conference in Melbourne - before the race was called off after McLaren pulled out due to a member of their team contracting the virus.
"I am really very, very surprised that we're here. I think it's great that we have races but for me it's shocking that we are all sitting in this room [for the conference]," said Hamilton.
"There are so many fans here already today and it seems like the rest of the world is reacting, probably a little bit late.
"But already this morning you have seen Trump shutting down the borders from Europe to the States and you are seeing the NBA has been suspended, yet Formula 1 continues to go on."
Hamilton, who said he was following all the necessary precautions, added: "It's a concern I think for the people here seeing it's quite a big circus that's come here. It's definitely concerning for me."