Race teams were in Florida ready and eager to kick off the season at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, all while sports leagues and events were making cancellation announcements due to coronavirus precautions. After first deciding they'd move forward with the race without spectators, it was decided on Friday afternoon that the race would be cancelled.
In addition, INDYCAR decided to postpone the next three races on the calendar. Officials gave the following statement:
"After careful consideration, including regular communication with our event promoters, health officials, and the city administrations in our respective race markets regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all NTT INDYCAR Series events through April. This begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which was to begin today and run through Sunday, March 15 and continues through the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas which was to take place April 24-26. Although we are disappointed to delay the start to this INDYCAR season and will miss our incredible fans who support us each year in St. Petersburg, Birmingham, Long Beach, and Austin, the safety of our fans, participants, staff, partners, and media will always remain our top priority. We will continue to coordinate with public health experts and government officials as we determine the appropriate plans for resuming our schedule."
Alexander Rossi was set to chase a Championship and is obviously disappointed he and his fellow teammates won't get to compete until May at the earliest. But with the understanding that public health is of the utmost important, he gave this statement to his fans on social media.
"Hey, friends. This is a bummer and I share in the disappointment with all the fans and pro athletes across the globe. But let’s work through this together, be good (intelligent) humans, and come back to have some fun in a couple months."
In later interviews, Series executives said they will make every effort to reschedule the canceled races.
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