Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has rebuffed Lewis Hamilton's quip that the championship travelling to the now-cancelled Australian Grand Prix during the developing coronavirus crisis was because "cash is king".
When asked to offer what he thought was the reason why the race was set to go ahead as scheduled during the pre-event press conference on Thursday, Mercedes driver Hamilton replied, "cash is king", before adding "honestly, I don't know".
"I can't really add much more to it – I don't feel like I should shy away from the fact of my opinion," he continued, referring to his feeling that it was "shocking" proceedings had got as far as teams and F1 personnel travelling to the race.
Hamilton's line was subsequently referenced during the press conference organised after the decision had been taken to call off the Albert Park race on Friday.
When asked what he would say to Hamilton regarding his feelings about the race and the "cash is king" line, Carey replied: "I guess if cash was king, we wouldn't have made the decision we did today.
"I've sort of addressed it in many different ways, so I can keep saying the same thing. In hindsight, obviously things look different [before F1 travelled to Australia].
"There were events that evolved, situations that changed.
"We made a decision which, given the lead time to come here, [was to] hold the event, at a point in time where major events were being held here, with a different situation in the world.
"[This was] as the situation changed day to day, in some ways hour to hour.
"Obviously we continued to evaluate that, and make the appropriate decisions going forward.
"I do think we were trying to digest a lot of different information to make the right decision at the right time, and I think we did that."