How the coronavirus infected F1

05-05-2020 16:13 | Updated: 05-05-2020 16:13
by GPblog.com
F1 News
How the coronavirus infected F1

The Formula 1 season of 2020 still has to start. Just before the very first session of the season the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the coronavirus. The day before McLaren already withdrew from the race because staff of the team was infected with COVID-19.

China first victim

A month before Melbourne would hold the first race of the year, it was already announced that the Chinese Grand Prix, scheduled for April 19, would not take place. China is the origin of the virus and authorities said it was too dangerous to organize such a big sporting event in April.

During the weekend of Australia, where first McLaren retreated and later the whole race was cancelled, it was also announced that the Grands Prix of Bahrain and Vietnam were postponed. The races were originally scheduled in late March and early April.

Early summer break

In the week of 16 March it became clear that the corona crisis was a worldwide problem that would persist for a long time. Therefore, on 18 March, the F1 summer break was brought forward to March and April, so that races that would not go ahead could get a place on the calendar in August. The Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix were also postponed. Monaco would not take place for the first time since 1954.

It only took four days until the next Grand Prix was hit by the virus. The race in Baku became the eighth race that could not take place. Formula 1 announced in the last week of March to support the medical world with Project Pitlane. Teams would keep their factories partially open to manufacture respiratory equipment.

At the beginning of April, McLaren will send its staff on leave. A week later, the Canadian Grand Prix also has to be postponed. It will be quite a challenge for Canada to find a new place on the calendar because of the very severe winters in Montreal.

Season start

At the end of April the teams will finally get clarity about the finances and the start of the season. The teams will receive an advance on the prize money and Formula 1 will let them know that they are aiming for a start in Austria with an adjusted calendar. Which also means that France will not go ahead.

At this moment seven races are still waiting for a new place on the calendar. However, the chance that all postponed races will actually get a spot on the revised calendar is small. However, there is a big chance that two races will be held on some tracks, which would mean that less travel is needed. We are looking at a calendar with about fifteen to eighteen races.

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