MELBOURNE, Australia — Full refunds will be offered to all Australian Grand Prix ticket holders after the season-opening race was cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Formula One, the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) reached the verdict on Friday morning, announcing the decision to call off the weekend less than two hours before cars were scheduled to be on track for the opening practice session.
Many race fans, who had been queuing outside the Albert Park gates all morning, learned about the cancellation on social media, sparking scenes of booing around the circuit.
On Friday afternoon, the AGPC released a statement confirming everyone who had purchased a ticket to watch the action from Friday through to Sunday would be compensated. Those who had purchased Thursday tickets would not receive a refund, given the day went ahead as planned.
“If you purchased tickets online through the Formula One Australian Grand Prix’s official ticketing agent, Ticketmaster, you will receive a refund back to the original credit card you used,” the statement read. “If you purchased tickets from a Ticketmaster outlet using cash or EFTPOS, you will need to visit a Ticketmaster outlet to refund the booking.
“If you purchased tickets through a travel agent or on-seller, please contact them directly to process your refund.
“If you purchased hospitality tickets through Ticketmaster, you will receive a refund back to the original credit card you used.”
The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images
Given the high volume of ticket holders, fans were also warned not to expect immediate refunds.
“The refund process may take some time and the AGPC team will ensure that refunds will be processed as quickly as possible,” the statement said. “Your patience is appreciated in this matter.”
The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was set to be the 25th anniversary of the race in Melbourne. Given the logistical difficulties of putting on a race at Albert Park, a decision to cancel, rather than postpone, had to be made.