FIA says 10 coronavirus cases wouldn't stop F1 race

The FIA is confident it would be able to manage positive coronavirus cases emerging in the paddock once the Formula 1 season resumes, avoiding the need to cancel races.

FIA says 10 coronavirus cases wouldn't stop F1 race

The Australian Grand Prix was called off just two hours before the scheduled start of practice after a McLaren employee tested positive for COVID-19.

A further nine races have since been called off, with plans now in place to create a "biosphere" at events to get the season underway, starting with the Austrian Grand Prix in early July. 

The FIA held a meeting to discuss protocols for running the event this week, which would include paddock personnel being testing for COVID-19 every other day.

The president of the FIA's medical commission, Gerard Saillant, is confident any positive  COVID-19 test results could be handled in a way that would avoid the cancellation of the race as in Australia.

"I think the situation is quite different between Melbourne and now, because the knowledge of the virus is quite different," Saillant told Sky Sports F1. "It's possible to prevent and anticipate quite a lot things.

"If we have one positive case, or maybe 10 positive cases, it's possible to manage perfectly with a special track, a special pathway for the positive cases. Medically speaking, it's not a problem."

But Saillant recognised there would be wider-reaching consequences in how F1 was perceived were there to be a high number of positive cases, which could force action to be taken.

"In terms of sporting and media consequence, it's quite different," he said. "We have to try and anticipate that, to know where is the right line beyond which it's impossible to continue.

"But I think it's not a problem for us now."

FIA president Jean Todt added that he was eager to avoid a repeat of how events escalated in Australia.

"We want to make sure that arriving to the first event on the 2020 calendar, we don't face another unpredictable situation," Todt said. "Our experts are working on that."

F1 is working towards starting the season with back-to-back races in Austria on 5 July and 12 July, ending a break of seven months without a grand prix.

Silverstone was aiming to host two grands prix in late July and early August, but its plans have been thrown into doubt after the UK government confirmed F1 would not be exempt from new quarantine guidelines. 

F1 is still planning to hold between 15 and 18 races this year, finishing the season in mid-December.

Read Also:

shares
comments
The F1 stories behind the pictures: Mark Sutton

Previous article

The F1 stories behind the pictures: Mark Sutton

Next article

Racing Family: The Brabhams

Racing Family: The Brabhams
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021
The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better Prime

The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better

A rapid ascent through the junior categories meant Yuki Tsunoda's arrival in Formula 1 was always going to be much-hyped. It's not been smooth sailing for Red Bull's latest protege so far, but his confidence has never wavered - something he'll need to rely on to continue his progress into the driver he believes he can be.

Formula 1
Apr 27, 2021