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F1 to ban motorhomes, test personnel for COVID-19

Mat Coch

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Tuesday 5th May, 2020 - 8:17am

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The Formula 1 paddock

The Formula 1 paddock will not feature motorhomes while those within it will be subject to COVID-19 testing once the sport gets underway.

Plans are currently being developed by Formula 1 and the FIA that will see the sport commence racing, potentially as soon as July, with a host of measures being put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Austria has been earmarked as the starting point for the 2020 season, an event which will take place behind closed doors with restrictions placed on how personnel working at the event move and interact.

According to Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s Managing Director, that will include a ban on motorhomes and a testing programme in place for those in the paddock.

“We’re working very closely with the FIA,” Brawn told Sky Sports.

“The FIA are doing a great job of putting together the structure that we need and everyone will be tested and will have clearance before they can go.

“Then, every two days they’ll be tested whilst in the paddock, and that will be with an authorised authority and system.

“Certainly for all the European races we’ll be using the same facility to conduct that testing and we can assure that everyone has been tested who is in that environment and tested regularly.”

Beyond testing, there will be restrictions on those within the paddock in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Then we will have restrictions on how people are moving around in the paddock because we cannot socially distance within a team,” he explained.

“So we have to create an environment within itself that is effectively a small bubble of isolation and the teams will stay within their own groups, they won’t meet up with other groups and mingle, they will stay in their own hotels.

“There’s no motorhomes going to be there.”

There are other plans being put in place for those who cannot avoid working across teams, such as scruitineers, who are essential to the running of the event.

“We’re just working with those people who somewhat have to go to all the garages and what we can do there.

“So there’s a tremendous amount of work going on between ourselves and the FIA and I’m very encouraged by what I’m seeing and hearing that we’ll be able to provide a safe environment that we can still perform properly.”

The Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled to kick start the 2020 Formula 1 season on July 3-5.

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