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‘No F1 world championship race’ if a team is absent due to Coronavirus

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In the round-up: Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn says Formula 1 will ensure the competition remains fair if some teams have to miss races due to the Coronavirus.

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Could the Coronavirus affect enough races to prevent the championship being awarded? @Alianora-la-canta consults the rule book:

The minimum number of rounds to count for the world championship is eight.

Given there are 21 races, and this is unlikely to still be causing restrictions at the back end of the season, I think we will definitely get a championship. More likely, there will be a small(ish) number of cancellations (one to seven, bearing in mind we’ve already effectively had one) and the rest of the season will continue as planned (meaning between 15-21 races actually run).

Given that 16-race calendars were common until 15 years ago, I think such a season could be declared valid, without needing to find ways to increase the race count.
@Alianora-la-canta

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Keith Collantine
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  • 35 comments on “‘No F1 world championship race’ if a team is absent due to Coronavirus”

    1. IIRC there were cases where teams unable to race due to things beyond their control were awarded “average” (for them) points for those races they could not race at. Note; I could be confusing F1 with another series, and, in those days teams started all races with a new or re-built engine so there would have been no advantage to having not run some races.

      1. Odds are that a lot of scenarios will need to be dealt with this year… what happens when one of the drivers has Covid?
        How about just Toto, Bono & Guy Le-Front-Jaques?
        Factory quarantines that don’t affect travelling personnel?
        If there were x races that affected any competitors, all teams could drop x worst results.

      2. Either way (non championship race or average points) I hope they adjust the PU usage rules to make it fair for all.

        1. In that case, the teams that can’t race should be awarded some test-days (follow the normal race-weekend format) as well, to validate new parts etc.

      3. I think the title is a bit misleading. It applies only if the host nation or local government prohibits a team from entering. If the team /drivers are out ill that’s another issue.

        It is certainly a time to stay away from airlines , especially on long haul routes unless charters with crew checked.

      4. @hohum F1 has never done this, though force majuere non-attendances don’t count against a team for FIA-related matters like deciding whether a team will be allowed to attend future races.

    2. A reduction in the number of races reduces the opportunities for Hamilton to catch Schumacher’s win total this year and before the rules change and multiple drivers potentially change teams.
      All much less important than tamping down this virus.

      1. If I remember correctly race wins from non championship races are still counted towards total win tally of drivers.

        1. Righz a win is a win, not like Ferrari can do much to stop him this year.

        2. No, they are not counted (or yes, for a “total” number of wins). But, for example, Jim Clark won 25 World Championship races and 19 non-championship ones. You never see his F1 win tally as 44.

    3. JR Love (@dermechaniker)
      4th March 2020, 5:55

      A non-championship race would also be unfair. It would allow the teams who could participate additional running time that the barred teams wouldn’t have access to.

      1. Maybe not 100% fair but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. It’s better to have someone upset about a little less run time then have a full weekend ruined and ruin it for the millions watching around the world. Also we don’t wanna deal with law suits for the new few years. Also I think it would give teams a chance if they were aloud to do things they couldn’t norm do like run a rookie. I think they should allow that if there is enough lead in time to the race

        1. It’s better to have someone upset about a little less run time then have a full weekend ruined and ruin it for the millions watching around the world.

          This. 👌

        2. JR Love (@dermechaniker)
          4th March 2020, 13:57

          I totally agree here, but thinking like a team excluded from running their car in this era of nearly zero testing and you can see how the cries of unfair will be justified.

          With this sport growing more and more restricted on test time, it has only itself to blame if something like this has to occur.

          Remember, many teams/manufacturers haven’t even signed for the future with F1. Creating a scenario where “fairness” is further in question and the sparks will fly.

          I’m glad I’m not in charge.

    4. The McLaren story was interesting. I wonder how many similar ‘adventures’ they’ve had last years but which all ended in tears. Or was it that with all the PU issues, they really didn’t have the resources or energy to go for aggressive stuff like that. Maybe the mindset automatically becomes conservative.

    5. If it’s a non championship race then the organizers shouldn’t have to pay fees that year. After all they are paying for a championship race, not a test session.

      It would be interesting to see the legal wrangling that would occur between organizers and F1 if a race was deemed non championship.

      1. That’s not what this is about. This is just blackmail of the host country to make sure and let Ferrari or whichever team in without any problems.

        1. Exactly. That’s how I see it. It’s a threat to the host nations to allow F1 personnel in or face the consequences of a cancelled / insignificant race.

      2. It would still be an F1 race.
        And any contract signed by Bernie will make sure it promises nothing more than that (and a minimum amount of cars participating).

    6. Too bad F1 is in bed with another betting company.

    7. I really like that Ross and the FIA are looking to do non points races to effected weekends. I think it’s a very good compromise for everyone involved and will not ruin the season for the fans. I also think races like this have the potential to be really fun bc it will be a winner take all event and you do t have to worry about losing points if you do something a little risky. I think teams if they have enough of a window can run a 3rd car with a rookie in it to fill the spot of the missing teams

      1. John Toad (@)
        4th March 2020, 9:28

        If a race is declared ‘non-championship’ how many of the other teams will turn up?
        What incentive is there for a team to run it’s cars in non-championship races?
        I suspect that a number of the other teams will not turn up. Why put extra miles on cars when their is nothing at stake.

        1. – how many of the other teams will turn up?
          All of them

          -What incentive is there for a team to run it’s cars in non-championship races?
          Team have very limited testing time. This would essentially be a whole free extra test weekend.

          Plus, teams have sponsorship agreements. Sponsors want exposure and TV time. Even a non-championship race is exposure and TV time.

      2. No country will accept a non-championship round in order to enforce barely effective quarantine. This is about making sure host nations make exceptions for all F1 personnel so no-one gets stuck. It’s a threat to governments about guaranteeing entry, not about any kind of substitute compromise ‘just in case’.

        But I wonder if that will stretch to the media, too?

    8. John Toad (@)
      4th March 2020, 9:28

      If a race is declared ‘non-championship’ how many of the other teams will turn up?
      What incentive is there for a team to run it’s cars in non-championship races?
      I suspect that a number of the other teams will not turn up. Why put extra miles on cars when their is nothing at stake.

      1. What incentive is there for a team to run it’s cars in non-championship races?

        Giving their sponsors the exposure they paid for.

      2. I assume the TV proceeds would only be shared with the teams that appeared.

    9. Yes, I say protest against FIA and Ferrari until all details of this fraudulent deal are released.

    10. I wonder what the sponsorship implications are if there ends up being more than a few cancelled races? I would guess “the biggest and most widespread F1 season ever” was a big draw for a lot of the companies that paid to have logos put on the cars…

    11. antony obrien
      4th March 2020, 10:29

      If anyone thinks that major economic events will be cancelled they are forgetting the power of the dollar. There will be likely longer queues to get in and the usual will get spooked and not go but as we are slowly (too slowly) learning, there are a few very straightforward things to do to reduce it being passed on. Only the old and those with lung conditions should think twice.

      Teams can easily test their staff who are travelling to the cirucits so there is no issue with teams turning up

    12. With nearly the entire world adopting social distancing measures and the lack of widespread testing meaning the virus is spreading undetected, it seems a potential liability for any truly international mass event to go forward at this point. It seems completely plausible that during a race weekend with tens of thousands of people flying in from around the world, that either:

      1. someone attending the race who caught the disease in the previous two weeks would fall ill during the race weekend, or
      2. in the two weeks after the event, someone who attended the race would fall ill and the contract tracing would lead them back to the grand prix, raising questions for the 100,000 people who attended.

      Even if the race itself is ultimately not where the virus was transmitted, the 14-day incubation period leaves a period of a month (two weeks on either side) where any person who attends a race being infected with the illness would potentially bring the sport’s role in the transmission of COVID-19 into question.

      Even if these transmission chains can be quickly contained, is the fallout and resulting PR for Liberty and the FIA worth the race going ahead?

    13. I think the idea of having non-championship rounds if teams are missing is a great opportunity for Liberty to try out some of their crazy ideas and see if any take off. On the one hand it would be disappointing for fans to see a team missing and a race having non-championship status but if they said they were doing a reverse grid, watering the track or even doing drag races I’d probably be more likely to watch it live. They’re not going to get a better opportunity to try some of these things, if they did we could be in for a fun season!

    14. I’m not surprised at all that the non-Ferrari-powered teams have gathered together against the FIA on this matter. I could see this coming ever since that sudden unexpected announcement.

    15. Mercedes will hit their zero emissions target this year easy. No racing!!

      1. Ahah, indeed, see how quickly they pulled out of the race as well when they heard of mclaren.

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