Brawn: F1 must balance risk, economic impact to decide start
Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn says the sport will need to find the right balance when judging when it's safe to return to normality amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Brawn suggested on Thursday that the season could start as early as July, and that if it does F1 could still fit as many 19 races in.
He insists that life has to return to normal at some stage, possibly even before a vaccine has been developed and used universally.
"Obviously we have to follow government guidelines," he said in a Sky F1 Vodcast. "But I think people are going to have to go back to work at some point, and I don't know if this thing is 100% cleared up when we do that.
"If we wait until it's 100% cleared up and a vaccine has been invented and everyone's been vaccinated, what point time in the future is that?
"So there will be some degree of judgement involved in when it is fair and correct for people to go back to work, for people to engage in the things they did before – perhaps with a lot more precautions than they took before."
Brawn stressed that the economic impact of the virus has to be taken into account, and added that sport returning would be a boost for people.
"There's a massive social and economic impact of this disease, and that's got to be taken into consideration as well in terms of deciding when the best time to go back is.
"There have been some awful tragedies for families and people who have been directly affected by this disease, we can't underestimate that, it's awful.
"But also the economic and social impact of this disease is going to start to become a real factor. We just need to find the balance that enables some form of normality to come again.
"Sport is a great factor in people's well-being, it entertains them, it engages them, there's lots of positive emotions about sport.
"And we employ thousands of people, and if the sport collapses there's thousands and thousands of people out of work.
"We have to find a way through it. It won't be digital in the sense that one day it's OK and one day it's not, or vice versa, it will be a transition period which we will have to manage as carefully as possible to minimise the risk."
Brawn acknowledged that should racing restart the sport has to be ready to react should someone test positive.
"I think if we find a team has suffered some coronavirus victims we'll have to look at the circumstances in which that is – is it at the factory, is it at the track? And have a plan in place to deal with it."
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