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Thu 20 Feb 2020 08:39 AM

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McLaren taking coronavirus precautions at Barcelona F1 test

Instead of stopping over in Hong Kong, McLaren F1 will use Middle East hubs

McLaren taking coronavirus precautions at Barcelona F1 test

McLaren are the first team in the F1 world championship to introduce such measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus. Image: AFP

Formula One team McLaren revealed Wednesday that they are taking measures to counter the threat of the deadly coronavirus, including banning entry to their motorhome at winter testing to anyone who has travelled from China.

The announcement was made after a Chinese journalist, who had journeyed to Barcelona from Shanghai, was refused entry to the team's hospitality suite in the Montmelo paddock for the three-day pre-season test session which runs until Friday.

A team spokesman also said that McLaren employees who were scheduled to travel to Melbourne via Hong Kong for next month's season-opening Australian Grand Prix will now no longer go via Hong Kong.

They will instead stopover in the Middle East. Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have made the same changes.

Wednesday's announcement comes just a week after the Chinese Grand Prix, set for April 19 in Shanghai, was cancelled due to the virus which has now claimed more than 2,000 lives in the country.

However, the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix, slated for April 5, will go ahead.

McLaren are the first team in the F1 world championship to introduce such measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus.

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