Formula 1’s customary summer shutdown period has formally been brought forward to March and April, and extended.
Teams must now observe 21 consecutive days of shutdown, meaning a period of leave for staff now or soon, while there is no racing anyway.
The European summer break, when a shutdown would normally have to be observed, looks set to be scrapped in order to fit in races delayed by the outbreak of coronavirus.
“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,” read a statement from the FIA.
“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.”
The Dutch Grand Prix, on May 1-3, is currently slated to open the season but that event and the following weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix are both in doubt.