The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world on a roller-coaster ride. Every industry suffers from this outbreak whether you consider the Economic side of things or the automotive segment. Multiple sporting events and other events already stand cancelled. F1 was among one of the sports that also got cancelled because of the large gatherings of spectators it has which is not ideal for the current situations.
The moment the outbreak happened in Europe, it was by and large predictable that F1 will need to postpone or happen behind closed doors. But, when two team members of the McLaren F1 team were tested positive for COVID-19, we knew a cancellation will happen and rightfully so. The FIA then revealed that the F1 race calender has been shifted to now initiate from the end of May for the 2020 season.
In order to complete the season within 2020, the FIA has now made some more changes. The summer break that usually used to take place around August has now been shifted to March in order to utilise the “off” period. Also, instead of a regular 14-day break, this time the summer break will be 21 days long.
An F1 summer break is when the teams must cease all race and car-related activity for the full fortnight. Although this time around, teams will have to take this break for a consecutive period of 21 days during the months of March and/or April.
A statement from the sport’s governing body the FIA said: “In light of the global impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus currently affecting the organisation of FIA Formula One World Championship events, the World Motor Sport Council has approved a change to the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, moving the summer shutdown period from July and August to March and April and extending it from 14 to 21 days.”
“All competitors must therefore observe a shutdown period of 21 consecutive days during the months of March and/or April.”
“The change was supported unanimously by both the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission.”
Red Bull said they supported the decision to move the shutdown, and said in a statement: “As a Team we currently plan to shutdown on 27th March for a three week period, however due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic there may be some flexibility around these dates. Whilst we would all love to return to racing, the severity of this global pandemic is changing by the hour and the impact transcends our sport. We therefore agree with the measures being taken to reduce the risk of transmission and will support any further race postponements that are deemed necessary.”
The team said they would be taking “extra precautions” to protect their workforce, and added: “our well wishes go to our McLaren and Pirelli colleagues recovering from the COVID-19 virus, as well as the McLaren team members currently quarantined in Australia.”
Meanwhile Alfa Romeo announced they would be shutting down between March 23rd and April 13th.