Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Should Formula 1 hold races behind closed doors?

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Holding races without fans might allow the 2020 F1 season to get started sooner. But should the sport contemplate racing without crowds?

Have your say in this week’s debate.

For

Many countries have imposed ‘social distancing’ measures and limits on the size of public gatherings as a result of the pandemic. Formula 1 is therefore not going to be able to hold races in front of six-figure crowds until these are lifted.

However it may have an earlier opportunity to run races if it drastically reduces the number of people which attend. This will involve cutting back on staff from F1, FIA and the teams to a bare minimum – but the biggest reduction can be made by telling fans not to attend.

While a race without fans would inevitably lack atmosphere, it would surely be preferable to having no race at all.

Against

Even without a crowd, can F1 reduce the number of attendees low enough for a race to take place behind closed doors? Our recent analysis on RaceFans put the minimum number at over 1,400. Even at a large venue like a Formula 1 track, bringing that many people together while practising social distancing seems unlikely.

Running races behind closed doors won’t be an option for some events either. It likely wouldn’t be practical for a race at a street circuit.

It would pass on a significant cost to the race promoter as well. Fans who could not attend would have their tickets refunded at a cost of many millions of pounds.

I say

I expect Formula 1 is going to have to accept that the sheer scale of its operation means that other sports will be able to hold their events behind closed doors much sooner. It is a much more complicated activity than stadium-based games like football or tennis.

But I don’t think it is going to have much alternative. It may also have to accept that the only races it gets to hold this year take place behind closed doors. Given that, the question becomes a ‘no-brainer’. Races without fans are surely going to happen.



You say

Do you think Formula 1 should hold races without fans in order to get its 2020 season started? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Do you agree F1 should hold races behind closed doors to get its 2020 season started?

  • Strongly agree (65%)
  • Slightly agree (19%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (3%)
  • Slightly disagree (2%)
  • Strongly disagree (11%)
  • No opinion (1%)

Total Voters: 189

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Video: Will F1 hold the first races of 2020 behind closed doors?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 65 comments on “Should Formula 1 hold races behind closed doors?”

    1. If the debate is if it’s safe or not to have races in closed doors because of the amount of team personnel needed I understand the issue and I would leave the decision to the health authorities.

      If it is the “a race without crowds is not fun” I don’t get the discussion. I’m a F1 fan for more than 30 years and I never had the opportunity to watch a race live. And has me, there’s hundreds of millions for who F1 is a TV event.

      1. I don’t go to the races because of the crowds.

        Friday’s are perfect for visiting the track, there is loads of track time, very few people, it is perfect to take in the track, the cars, the paddock, and it is significantly cheaper.

        And now they want to take that away…

    2. It more comes down to if the country can support it.
      F1 takes a Medical helicopter and ambulances to support the dangerous circus it is.

      Here’s to us defeating this thing!

      1. Yeah, no matter the abilities to host the event inside the circuit, they MUST consider the emergency services they have to have to run a race. That is a bigger deal than a lot of other things. I’d also say, everyone involved will need regular testing in case they do need to go to hospital. You still could not go around the world, even in a contained group, and then need the ambulance or hospital without knowing if you are infection free.

    3. before travel restrictions are gone it is a pointless discussion

      if travel restrictions are gone in ALL countries that has teams/personnel/suppliers/etc then events will probably be ok with crowds too.

      Silly to write an article about races without talking about travel.

      1. It might he possible to get a special dispensation from local authorities, organize charter flights, travel by bus or car in Europe. The biggest issue I read here involves the local health services, that would already be under terrible stress because of the pandemic

    4. Largely though,F1 teams are kept separated from the public during a race weekend (barring the signings etc), so if a race is held behind closed doors, that counts the public out of any harms way, but what about the Teams mingling with each other ? It would only take one ‘carrier’ to spread it again amongst the paddock, then we’re back to square one. Unless of course every attending person is tested beforehand to ensure they are clear of any virus, or carrying it ?

      1. I think this is the real issue, is it safe. Also, are you taking resources that could be better used elsewhere? It’s pretty clear that there is a lack of ability to test people for CV19, so if you’re using up a limited resource that could save lives elsewhere then, I have a problem with F1 restarting. It’s the travel to the circuit, not the race that poses the greatest safety risk, that is if countries even permit travel. If you’re travelling with bare minimum of personal, one positive test and you immediately lose at least one team and its Melbourne all over again.

        I think if there any question about these things, there are likely a few drivers that might not show up…

    5. I put strongly agree – I’m not sure if they should race at all but if they are going to than it absolutely should be without crowds. I think they’ll struggle to arrange it though due to the number of people involved and the travelling. Sports like football can send 30 people to a stadium, keep them separated other than for 90 minutes and then go home safely. F1 would need more than 30 people per team and they’d have to travel around the world.

      I wonder if F1 could massively limit the headcount at races? Realistically, you only need the mechanics and drivers at the track whilst the rest could work from the teams bases…..

      1. That summs it up nicely @petebaldwin. I put in “slightly agree” but only because I kind of missed the option “realistically, if we want the season to get going, there most likely is no other option”

    6. It would be very depressing to watch races inf front of empty stands…

      1. I think it is too early to for this vote. Re do it in a month, even In 2 weeks. This virus is still too new, people’s opinions change on a daily basis in the last 20 days. I personally think we need to care about saving people’s lives for a while before any talk of motorsport restarting takes place. I personally don’t believe there will be any races held this year, maybe in last quarter a possibility, but by then the time frame would have expired to start a real season.

    7. Don’t forget the Marshalls have to attend too

      1. @kaylee911 And potentially even local police.

        1. @jerejj, why this obsession with police ? everyone involved will be far too busy to start a riot or steal anything but secrets.

          1. @hohum I meant outside the track area-boundaries. Not an obsession, but something another user brought up before me on a different site.
            Here’s a link to it:
            https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/french-gp-government-lockdown-covid/4780240/
            If you scroll down through the comment section of this article, you’ll find a thread featuring a long-ish post about figures needed to run an F1 GP, and it includes police officers as one of those. I hadn’t thought about this in that great detail before, but reading that post for the first time made me realize or gave me a better idea on the matter.

            1. @jerejj, Silverstone is not a street track, the track is surrounded by carparks, farmland and an industrial area, the police would only be needed for crowd or traffic control, but not if there was no crowd or traffic.

            2. @hohum A significant number of police would be needed, to ensure the coronavirus laws (primarily social-distancing laws and making sure nobody was trying to use the occasion as a “permitted excuse” who should not be) were being followed. Not the several hundred a British Grand Prix normally requires, far from it, but still a couple of dozen when there is a severe shortage of police to handle coronavirus-related legal breaches already.

              If the number can be kept under 2000, this is less of an issue as incidental policing is expected to cover that, but events over 2000 people are expected to help fund police involvement unless everyone involved is an employee. The fact that the British Grand Prix uses volunteer marshals would make that impossible.

          2. @hohum There’d still be traffic to get to the paddock, though, but oh well, maybe that’d work without them.

    8. I think it is inevitable that the entire season will be postponed. The countries where the teams are based (primarily the UK and Italy) are heavily affected by Covid-19 at present, and that looks to continue for some time.

      If they hold races at home, they will be under heavy social distancing. If they hold them abroad, what countries are willing to accept hundreds of F1 personnel from “hotspots” coming in to their borders?

      I think that we are going to see a continual postponement of events as the global situation does not recover as quickly as needed. It is costly for event organisers, teams, the FIA and anyone else involved to begin to organise a race only to call it off at the last minute. The sport is already in a financially precarious position, so there is no need to make that worse by trying to prematurely salvage a season.

    9. RaceFans put the minimum number at over 1,400. Even at a large venue like a Formula 1 track, bringing that many people together while practising social distancing seems unlikely.

      I don’t think that is the biggest challenge. There are more people working in a smaller space inside an Amazon distribution centre.
      And you can make smart changes to the communication and training so that most people do not need to be together in a small room. And do we really need 3 people per wheel?

      A bigger challenge though is to get the foreigners into the country and then back home without having to spend 2 weeks in quarantine after each leg.
      Even when racing at Silverstone, there will be a couple of hundred ‘foreigners’ involved.

      But these challenges are a lot smaller than safely filling up grand-stands.

      1. Amazon has been hit by a lot of complaints about their workplace safety measures though – I believe they are currently being sued over conditions in a Spanish facility, whilst in France they were ordered to cut back to only essential supplies after five facilities were found to be unsafe and ordered to change their operations.

        1. They clearly didn’t make enough ‘smart changes’.
          It’s not the sheer number of people, but how you offer them the safest working environment possible.

          You are already seeing many non-essential services talking about opening up; even Ikea is looking at this.
          Maybe governments should organise big TV events so people have a reason to stay at home. By August even a home concert by the Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones might become less exciting ;)

          1. @coldfly In my town, a couple of shops (a fish-and-chip takeaway and a pharmacy) have re-opened because the alternative was bankruptcy – though that’s quite legal as both are defined as essential services under the law of the land they occupy. It does not surprise me that non-essential businesses might be willing to take risks to re-open early on financial grounds.

    10. They should race behind close doors to get a 2021 season. 2020 is probably way too early to get roundabout 1400 people together, given that any (inadvertent or planned) herd immunity (if, and only if people are immune after going through an infection first) only works after 60% or 70% of the population are infected, and so far there are about 1 million confirmed cases within 700 million people in europe.
      Possibly, even 2022 and 2023 could be behind closed doors.

    11. Should be non-championship races behind closed doors if anything. No one should win a world championship this year.

      1. @john-h A season is valid for the world championship as long as the number of races is at the very least eight and on at least three different continents. Even if all of them took place without anyone on the grandstands, they should still be classed as world championship-events.

      2. No one should win a world championship this year.

        Why, @john-h?
        (assuming at least 8 regular races in which all teams can attend)

        1. Because this is a changing situation. Who knows which teams might be able to attend in later events. I’m not sure why people are craving for a world champion after 8 races, I know the rule but still it’s not a world championship, sorry. It’s going to have a huge asterisk after it, for both team and driver. I see no sense in it. This is a unique year.

          1. I’m not sure why people are craving for a world champion after 8 races, I know the rule but still it’s not a world championship

            It’s not even unique; happened some 7 times in the past, with big-name worthy champions.
            None of those seasons has an asterisk, @john-h.

          2. @john-h so does that therefore invalidate earlier seasons, such as 1980, 1981 and 1982, where political arguments between teams and the governing body resulted in boycotts, races being retrospectively stripped of their world championship status and races where the drivers didn’t know if they’d even be allowed to participate because FISA was threatening to strip the drivers of their licences and expel them from the sport?

            There were races in that period where teams went into them not knowing for certain if they’d be allowed to compete or if their results would or wouldn’t be allowed to stand – that period of the sport was pretty turbulent.

            Asides from that, the period from the 1950s through to the 1980s saw considerable turbulence and frequent changes to the calendar midway through the season – at least 50 races are recorded as having been cancelled during the history of the sport, of which over 30 of those were within the first 30 years of the sport, such that race cancellations and teams missing races were basically an annual event for most of that era.

            In 1955, for example, you had four races cancelled because of the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans disaster – that basically cut the season in half and also decided the WDC in Fangio’s favour, as it suddenly made it mathematically impossible for Moss to catch Fangio. Does that decision mean that Fangio’s title that season should “have a huge asterisk after it”, because the change in calendar midway through that season meant he went from being catchable to suddenly having a lead that was impossible for anybody to challenge?

    12. Voted strongly agree on the poll, providing circuit owners who rely on gate income aren’t expected to do it with no assistance.

      I only truly notice the crowds during the race at certain venues (Silverstone, Monza, Mexico, Brazil to name a few) so at some tracks it wouldn’t be all that different during the actual action. Even at those tracks, my main focus is that I want to watch the cars – I’d miss the crowd noise you occasionally hear, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world for me.

      The time I’d notice would be post-race, the podium, interviews. Seeing the drivers celebrating in front of no one. Again, not the end of the world, but it’d make me a bit sad.

    13. I voted for strongly agree.

    14. As a fan I’d say yeah, I’d love to see a race – even if it was behind closed doors. The ‘double-header’ idea sounds good.

      But, thinking about it, the sheer scale of the F1 operation and the manpower involved in it makes the whole ‘social distancing’ thing fairly impossible, tracking and testing everyone involved just isn’t realistic, and that’s without considering each country is dealing with the pandemic in different ways and is at different stages of infection. Imagine the absolute nightmare of them holding a race a little too early – even behind closed doors – and somehow, someone becomes infected? That seems a lot of risk for little reward.

      I would love to see another race but honestly I can’t see it happening for a long while yet.

    15. As michael pointed out …. until travel restrictions are lifted between impacted countries, any discussion of holding any event, motorsport or otherwise, is pointless. You just won’t be able t move people or equipment across borders.
      Once the bans start coming off, that will also clear the way for assemblies of larger groups so some ticket sales would also be possible.
      Testing, people, not cars, could change the landscape.
      It will wind up that the teams will run their own personnel testing to ensure all are clear and safe to travel. Remote resource industries and Amazon are already onto this. Likely you will have a tag added to your Passport with a status and date.

    16. One guy said in the past.. people needs bread and circuses. Liberty give us circus!

      Personally I think multiple races on various tracks ofc with closed doors is doable.

    17. It’s going to be really hard to persuade so many governments that racing is an essential service to the community. If it does go ahead while many people are still under lock down and unable to work to provide for their families there may well be considerable unrest /protest. Each team requires a large assembly of staff working in close proximity to each other. The whole idea of racing at all seems to be wishful thinking right now or for the next few months at the least.

    18. A few weeks ago I would have voted “Strongly Agree”, but now I voted “Slightly Agree” because the situation is so bad that one can’t realistically see any races being held this year. Every step of the way to a Grand Prix and then getting everyone safely home afterwards requires people to make contact with others or to go to places or handle things that should have been disinfected before they got there. Even if a vaccine was on the market before the end of the year, shouldn’t it be used for those that actually need it?

      1. Before long, in Europe and elsewhere, most people will be back making contact with others and handling things, as you say. Even if it’s in the shape of a “new normal” with social distancing, and some Covid deaths become a normal and not shocking occurence, as long as they isn’t increasing. So I don’t think it’ll be any different for F1. I mean, even now there’s a lot of people in the streets of Milan and Paris already, as videos and pictures attest.

        1. Regardless of what we say here, racing in any form will require Lock-Downs to be ended or significantly opened up. This is already starting to happen, whether governments want it or not, and some governments are pushing the concept. Then it becomes a question of when, not if for travel, racing and …??
          Apparently around 60 …. million people die in this world every year. In the grand scheme of things, while this is indeed a terrible virus with deplorable consequences, it isn’t the end of the world. Likely will become part of the new normal.

    19. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (ask your grandparents), I voted strongly agree, but I don’t think it will be possible for the teams to travel from country to country with all the personnel required to assemble and disassemble the cars as well as perform 2 second tyre changes. My suggestion of holding multiple races at Silverstone until things become more normal is based on the concept of minimal travel, minimal crew, and likely some race changes due to limited crew numbers, such as no pit stops hard tyres only and reduced distance if needed, that way cars could arrive at the track ready to race and stay there for multiple races attended to by a small crew who also stay nearby (is there a hotel at the track ?). Again it is not going to be easy but I believe it could be done.

      1. @hohum Hard tyres won’t last a full race at some tracks… …and I think Silverstone is one of them. Restricting the number of people on a stop, so for example it’s only possible to change 1 wheel at a time, might be more viable. Call it a throwback to the 1950s if needed to sell the concept.

        Silverstone does not yet have a hotel at the track (it’s under construction), but there are a number of nearby hotels that are available. The bigger issue is that current British coronavirus law doesn’t allow them for use by people travelling for most work purposes – they can be used by essential workers, people for whom it’s their primary residence and people who would otherwise be homeless, but as far as I can tell, there is no provision for people travelling for non-essential work. The law is no different if the hotel is at the venue than if it is not. For Silverstone to host, team members would currently have to commute from home (work that cannot be done from home – a test with a lower boundary than “essential work” – can be commuted to from home, and organising a physical F1 race at home comes with difficulties).

        1. @alianora-la-canta, I never said it would be easy, but I still believe it would be the least difficult, try putting on your positive-thinking hat and see what you can come up with. And yes, I will allow enough police presence in case of a deranged Scotsman invasion.

          1. @hohum With the positive hat on, the easiest and most credible way of starting this season is to send the teams to Austria as scheduled (this being the first race in a country that may have loose enough restrictions to hold the race), on whatever basis proves possible (at the rate the curves are going, a domestic audience may be feasible or may not) and proceed from there. That doesn’t even require anything to change in the UK, because people can already leave the country and return if they are doing so for work that cannot be done from home (provided, of course, the country at the other end will allow them entry).

            I’m also optimistic enough to think there’s a chance of hosting Silverstone with a significant amount of its audience (though some people coming from abroad could be blocked if their country isn’t as far along the curve as the UK – not much of an issue for the foreign teams or suppliers needed for F1 to run, but a problem for spectators coming in from, say, Florida). It’s just that the way the rules work, there could not be a race at Silverstone at all. While total removal of the restrictions is not required, some loosening is – and Silverstone has said it needs to make a decision before the end of April. That’s 9 days away. For that, it really could do with the British government giving it, and us all, a “glide path” – even if it’s of phases in the lifting of restrictions that will be activated in a particular sequence and minimum gaps between those phases – so it can start planning what can happen and what’s flat impossible.

            1. @alianora-la-canta, So you think it will be safe for full teams to travel and congregate in pit lane in early July ? I think you are being overly optimistic.

            2. @HoHum There are parts of the world where the curve patterns seen suggest it would be very much safe for mass events to occur in early July – assuming teams follow proper protocols to not get sick in the lead-up to that race. Austria’s curve looks like it will be one such nation. Silverstone is admittedly less sure, despite having more lead time, simply because the UK’s curve is further back than Austria’s. However, I am cautiously optimistic that by early July, Britain should be able to start hosting mass events (hence why motorsport in the UK is only suspended until June 30 at the moment).

              There are other places where there’s still likely to be cancellation – Belgium seems to have painted itself into a corner, and while I want to believe things will improve there so the government can bring things forward the four days F1 needs, it’s too optimistic even for me

              The other thing you don’t seem to realise is that even if teams brought 3 people each (the drivers plus a mechanic who also does the team boss duties), it still takes around 3000 people to host a Grand Prix weekend. Remember there are support rounds involved, marshalls, emergency services, suppliers, FIA personnel, circuit staff, TV crews, journalists (there would have to be some, to help pay for the fact there’s a race happening at all)… The number of people that are only needed to sort out the spectators is relatively small – a few hundred. Excluding independent journalists doesn’t reduce the headcount by more than a few dozen. However it’s shaken, even a “skeleton paddock” is enough people mingling to be a mass event and (if managed improperly) a congregation risk.

              You told me to put my positivity hat on for my last response and I did. With the realistic hat on, if Silverstone can’t run with some sort of audience, it can’t run without one either.

            3. @alianora-la-canta, There are also places in the world suffering a second wave of Covid-19 infections because they eased restrictions too early. In the USA before Liberty the races were called on Speed channel from the Sat-link studio (better than Sky), support rounds are only required to entertain paying spectators, your negative hat is much bigger than your positive hat.

            4. @hohum Support races are required for the requirements of those series. Simply because F1 originally agreed to share the schedule space to entertain spectators does not mean it can break the contract simply because the spectators are not there. Unless you expect Liberty to pay for F3, F2 etc. to have standalone races (which will be expensive because of the contract breaches involved, and increase transmission risk because of support staff being needed for more dates), or pay even higher amounts of money to enforce cancellation when the circuit was patently available (if it wasn’t, then F1 would not be running either), then they will need to stay on the schedule, and be staffed accordingly.

              China probably would have been fine had it not opened international borders. While it is hard to say the exact situation in July from here, there is a good chance that in at least parts of Europe, COVID-19 will be under sufficient control that mass events will be possible. If it isn’t, there’s no point entertaining the thought of F1 behind closed or open doors in Europe.

              Speed was only able to call the races from a studio because hundreds of camera operators, TV crews and sound technicians from Liberty produce a “world feed”. That’s where most of the media staff are – producing the part that is common to everyone’s broadcast. While Sky may give the opposite impression because it has multiple English-language contracts and can pool resources between allowances, all media outlets are already restricted in how many staff they can take to do the “top layer” role of adding value to the world feed. Speed didn’t broadcast from a studio to save headcount – it only saved the salaries of perhaps 10 people – but to save on the nearly $10 m of travel costs it would have had per year, to send those 10 people plus the 25 or so people who were still needed to do the studio version across the world many times per year. While that is understandable economically, it means it also isn’t much use for getting the number of staff needed to host a Grand Prix below the “mass event” figures (2000 in the UK, other locations vary).

            5. @alianora-la-canta, I think you are forgetting who is the service provider and who is the buyer in F1 GP contracts, contracts which are broken (force majeur) and will need re-negotiating.

            6. @hohum The support series are charged money and F1 is the recipient of the monies. So yes, the support series would be entirely within their rights to demand they either receive what they paid for, or get a refund. Forcing a series to scuttle would cause even further expense, and such a demand would entitle the support series to demand even more compensation. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune and in this case, F1 is the piper rather than the player.

    20. Bruno Verrari
      19th April 2020, 23:51

      Ghost races…

    21. I’m one of the few that voted strongly disagree.

      Look, I love my F1, and miss it but I’d rather that they and the world in general focus on defeating this virus. Make no mistake, Liberty are only pushing this for themselves and their shareholders and have absolutely no care for the fans, teams or drivers.

      1. John Richards (@legardforpresident)
        20th April 2020, 5:27

        Well said, sir! You can separate wants from needs and yes, I tend to agree with you. Sadly, F1 is a business and their prerogative is recover at whatever cost it can, even if it means putting a country’s medical system at further strain in order to risk bringing in thousands of mechanics, team personnel etc. etc. to watch a couple of multi-millionaires trash some overpriced machinery around a track even if there aren’t any spectators. Right now, defeating this dreaded virus and reducing unemployment defeats the need to bring in a pointless sport back into a strained economy.

        1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          20th April 2020, 20:19

          I voted “strongly disagree” as well.
          Most of the world is forced into lockdown. I don’t see why F1 should be exempt.

    22. Ben (@sunnchilde)
      20th April 2020, 1:56

      Race promoters and venue owners finance the race because of ticket sales. If there are no ticket sales, then the whole race is a net loss.

    23. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      20th April 2020, 3:30

      I don’t believe F1 would be on top of any government’s priority list anytime soon; and that is assuming that they do manage to flatten the curve. Add to that the unknown possibility of reinfection in a previously infected individual, and an impending second wave of infections (as many are predicting will hit China later in the year).

      Suppose the F1 bandwagon does get back on track, what would happen if a team personnel were to get infected like in Australia?

      Besides, would anyone want a WDC (and WCC) from a half hearted season like this one?

      There are far too many variables at the moment. It’s a dynamic situation which could change by the day, for better or worse. A smart move would be for F1 to call off this season entirely, and look towards starting afresh in 2021.

      1. @asleepatthewheel China is already in a second wave (due to international import), and I expect at some point others will get a second wave, because the probably of around 200 nations all getting their re-opening protocols perfect on the first try is very low. However, attempting a season is essential if we are to have a F1 2021 – half-hearted or otherwise. An organisation that doesn’t even try to honour its contracts will not be able to maintain them in the face of the oncoming global recession. If it tries and fails – even if failure comes because it was never possible to send the teams anywhere – that storm can be withstood. Probably.

    24. As long as the fans that already bought tickets would be fully refunded and/or compensated in some fashion then I say strongly agree.

      Should’ve already had the Australian GP anyway, possibly as an exhibition non points race or as a points race with a tweak to the championship rules to only count the best 20/22 race results for each team & drivers since McLaren completely withdrew. Fans were already gathered together, equipment was all in place, it did them absolutely no good to cancel at the point which they did.

      1. It did us all good to lock the gates. 100,000 fans from all parts of the world cheek by jowl (+ cheek by bowl) would have been a few factors of magnitude worse for virus containment than the teams going through their prep & races processes.

      2. @MG34 Cancellation had to happen for legal reasons. Had the COVID-19 diagnosis been among the crowd, then a closed-door race could have happened. However, with the paddock affected and apparently unable to fully socially distance (thus anyone in the paddock could have been affected), cancellation was the only option.

        Cancelling 11 hours and 45 minutes after said cancellation was inevitable, and implying to the teams it was optional when it was not, is a whole different argument.

      3. @MG34 @didaho @alianora-la-canta
        They should’ve just let RBR, SAT, and RP do the race. Yes, it would’ve been another 2005 Indianapolis US GP in the form of a six-car race, but even that would’ve been better than nothing.

        1. @jerejj That would have solved nothing, because the FIA, Liberty and the Australian Grand Prix organisers would still have been jointly and severally liable for any COVID-19 cases that were there, if there had been the slightest chance of identifying them as being to do with the attempt to run the weekend after the positive diagnosis. The nature of COVID-19 (where it’s most infectious a day or two pre-symptoms) means that the mixing that had already happened meant any of the competing staff members could have been carrying the virus. It is extremely fortunate that, in the event, only one other person (a Pirelli staff member) did. However, it is not difficult to imagine that Pirelli staff member accidentally infecting their colleagues, who then in turn infected participating team members.

          Also, given who was getting involved at that point (the State Premier had ordered the crowds to disperse), USA 2005 would have looked impressive in comparison – because Australia 2020 would likely have been stopped before Free Practise 3 at the very latest, even assuming all remaining participants were 100% healthy.

    25. I continue to believe that some races will run with an audience this year – and am not convinced that F1 can reduce its staffing requirements low enough to make running races before the “mass event” restrictions are lifted impossible. However, using a “closed-door” or restricted-crowd system (I suspect Belgium may end up the latter) to speed up the start of the season once “mass event” restrictions are lifted is perfectly reasonable.

    26. Most of people libertys have been taken away because of this economic killing manipulationvirus.
      Most resource handed to us were for mutual benefit. Now manipulators think it should be one way street – what else?
      It will be too expensive for F1 to support this show alone. Sure, some time they will, but there is no future acting counterintuationally.

      People first have to get their liberties back.

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