Todt: F1 return has set “global example” for other sports

FIA president Jean Todt believes that Formula 1 has set a “global example” with its return to racing following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Todt: F1 return has set “global example” for other sports

F1 was forced to call off the opening 10 races of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but managed to get its season underway with the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

A 13-race calendar is now in place, with more races set to be added after a number of countermeasures and protocols were implemented to allow events to be staged safely.

Speaking to select media including Motorsport.com at the British Grand Prix, Todt said he was “very proud” of how F1 had made its return, believing it has set an example to other sports and racing series in staging international events.

“The easy decision was to wait until things get better, and we don’t know when it will get better,” Todt said.

“Formula 1 was the first international series to start again with very strict protocols. It has been a global example of [the] motivation and engagement to restart racing.

“I read [comments] that you do that for money. For me, it’s wrong. You do that because life has to go back as much as possible to normal, taking into consideration that the virus is there.

“It has been the life before, which we all know. Nobody was predicting that we could live this kind of situation. Now we have to learn to live with this virus.”

Todt said F1 had been “very creative” to rebuild the calendar after the pandemic forced more than half of the planned races to be cancelled this year, resulting in new replacement events at circuits such as Mugello, Imola and the Nurburgring.

The flexibility with the calendar “required a lot of energy” and “a lot of creativity”, according to Todt, who paid tribute to the team working behind the scenes to get the season going.

“To have all the people behind [you], because legally it’s a big endorsement to decide we are going to host racing in this kind of situation,” Todt said.

“Clearly, it has been a lot, and here, you have the medical commission of the FIA working with the administration of the FIA, together with the promoter representative, with the national promoter representative, with the government, with the teams.

“It’s a combination of effort, put together to be able to host a championship.”

Read Also:

F1 has reported three positive COVID-19 cases amid its thorough screening programme across the opening four races, one of which came following a test for Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.

Perez was forced to miss the British Grand Prix while he quarantined, but defended a trip to Mexico following the previous race in Hungary, saying he had remained within the FIA’s guidelines.

Todt said he would not look to criticise Perez for his actions, but acknowledged drivers must be conscious of the risks they take.

“If you do something, you take a risk,” Todt said.

“We have been applying a code of conduct for everybody, including media, including people working in the administration, in order to minimise the risk.

“It will be [in place] as long as it is needed, [with] very sharp control, and those people who may decide to take a risk, maybe they could avoid to take.

“They may be prepared to have the consequences of the risk in case of a positive test.

“My only strong message I would do, be respectful of the code of conduct, because it can have consequences for you and for people around you. We have to be careful.”

shares
comments
Pirelli: Softer tyres not a risk at second Silverstone race

Previous article

Pirelli: Softer tyres not a risk at second Silverstone race

Next article

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport launches channel on Motorsport.tv

Mercedes-Benz Motorsport launches channel on Motorsport.tv
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021