Apart from having participants-only races starting 5th of July in Austria, F1 must take some vital safety precautions to ensure that racing can resume safely. Welcome back to another F1ntastic post. This post is all about the safety precautions Formula 1 will take when racing begins. Racing cannot resume if it isn’t safe, so that’s why Formula 1 is taking some vital precautions. Let’s get into it!
Formula 1 Safety Precautions
1. Races Will Take Place With Closed Doors
One of the most obvious safety precautions is participants-only races, meaning that nobody can watch the races live at the track. Public, guests and partners are not going to be present at the races. Imagine you throw a party at your house, but you celebrate it alone. That’s how the race winners will feel after the race. The closed doors rule is temporary and will stand for the opening 8 races of the year. However, this COVID-19 pandemic is incredibly unpredictable. We don’t know whether the second half of the 2020 F1 calendar will take place with open doors or not. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Want to know more about the second half of this year’s calendar? Check out the previous post!
2. Limited Staff
The only people who will enter the circuits are the teams, drivers, and other essential personnel and staff. Formula 1 has severely reduced the number of staff and personnel on track and has allowed only a certain number of people to travel to the races. Staff coming from all sides of F1 including the teams, suppliers, the FIA and F1 will be reduced. Things like parts of the television broadcast will take place remotely, and some press conferences already have taken place remotely.
Having limited staff could be a big issue because each and every team member does something for the team. Fewer team members do play a major role in social distancing. That now brings us to our next Formula 1 safety precaution.
3. Social Distancing
There are some major social distancing rules that have been put into place to ensure that safety is up to a high standard and is consistent. Team members are not allowed to leave their team’s area and are not allowed to interact with members of other teams. There will be no motorhomes at the track this year; team members will remain in their hotels when they are not working at the track. Within the F1 Paddock and the track itself, there will be social distancing measures that will remain throughout the weekend. These measures will be made easier to follow thanks to the limited numbers of staff.
Formula 1 has declared social distancing rules for before and after the race, including changes to the podium ceremony, the number of personnel on the grid, the national anthem, and the drivers’ parade.
The Drivers’ Parade
Let’s start with what would usually happen a couple of hours before the start of the race. The drivers’ parade would be when all the drivers took a cruise around the track waving to fans in a truck or a classic car. There would often be interviews taking place as well during the truck ride, right in front of the fans. Unfortunately, since this would be unsafe with so many people right next to each other, the drivers’ parade will not happen at any of the races in 2020. Instead, there will be interviews conducted safely outside the garages.
“The drivers’ parade won’t happen as we can’t put 20 drivers on the back of a truck and take it round the track, so instead we will interview with each one of them in front of the garage,” says Ross Brawn, the Formula One managing director of motorsports and technical director. “There’s plenty of ways we can engage without compromising health and safety.”
The grid is always packed with multiple mechanics standing around each car. This cannot happen because it is impossible to enforce social distancing when there are so many people present. Other grid ceremonies will not take place the same way as before. The national anthem is a good example.
“Things like the national anthem, you can’t have all the drivers grouped together and you can’t have our FIA Future Stars stood in front of them. The FIA Future Stars will still be part of the show virtually. They will have the uniforms sent to them and they’ll send us videos of them with a message which we can play so there are lots of things we can do to make it entertaining.” says Brawn.
The grid will be different from the normal grid for the start of the race for the whole of 2020. Hopefully, it will return to normal in 2021.
The Podium Ceremony
The podium ceremony – one of if not the most famous Formula 1 ceremony that everybody loves – will change. The drivers can’t be in such proximity, and there can’t be somebody presenting the trophy. So the podium ceremony just can’t take place the way it would normally take place.
“One option would be to line the cars up on the track and the drivers will stand in front of cars.” says Ross Brawn.
This would be like how it is in Qualifying. To know more about Formula 1 Qualifying, check this out. There are plans and procedures in place to present the trophies on TV, and how the podium ceremony will take place. It will still look good while being safe at the same time.
4. Regular Testing
There will be thorough and regular testing done to ensure than any personnel/staff that will attend any events are free from the virus and are taken care of if they do test positive for the coronavirus. This will be done using private testing and private medical teams will conduct these tests before, during, and after the race weekend. There will be extra screening at times including when anyone is entering the circuit, and the same testing procedures will take place for local workers at each event. As mentioned above, any people who test positive for the virus will be taken care of separately, and all personnel who have tested negative will proceed to the events.
5. Isolated Travel
Personnel that will be attending races and have tested negative for the coronavirus before departure will be transported by charter flights as much as possible. All event staff will have private transportation between venues, hotels and airports so that there is minimal to no interaction with the untested public. There will be a sort of restricted ‘bubble’ that all personnel will be in. This is a major safety precaution that will ensure that staff members do not contract the virus from the public at any stages of travel.
We have now arrived at the end of this post. Formula 1 safety precautions are very important, especially when it comes to precautions related to a pandemic like this one. Be sure to let me know in the comments below what you think about the latest Formula 1 safety precautions, hope you gained some knowledge from this post. Stay safe, stay happy, and stay on the lookout for new posts!