Organisers dismiss boycott rumours

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Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Australian Grand Prix organisers have dismissed suggestions a number of Formula One teams are threatening to boycott the race over safety fears surrounding McLaren.

Fernando Alonso’s crash during the second pre-season test last month in Barcelona, which rendered the Spaniard unconscious and resulted in a three-day stay in hospital, has left many observers perplexed.

To avoid the prospect of second-impact syndrome, Alonso is to sit out next weekend’s season-opening grand prix in Australia, returning for the subsequent race in Malaysia on March 29

McLaren have categorically made clear there was no car or systems failure that led to the incident at the Circuit de Catalunya on February 22, instead blaming a freak gust of wind.

The explanation is seemingly unconvincing to some and it has led to suggestions of concern from other teams, to such an extent talk of a boycott has apparently been mentioned.

But Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott has refuted such gossip.

Speaking to The West Australian, Westacott said: “We’re talking to the teams, Formula One and the FIA multiple times every day and a boycott certainly hasn’t been raised or discussed.

“All the teams are coming to Melbourne; they’re excited about the start of the new season, the freight is on its way, Formula One personnel are on site at Albert Park setting up the broadcast and from our perspective it’s 100 per cent all systems go.

“We hold no fears about anything apart from containing the enthusiasm of the Australian public across the four days.”

Published: Friday 6th March 2015 by The News Editor

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