Start, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2019

British GP in doubt as government offers no exemption from quarantine rules

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: The British government has confirmed it will require foreign arrivals to quarantine themselves for 14 days from June 8th, casting doubt on whether F1 will be able to race at Silverstone.

What they say

The British Grand Prix was originally scheduled to take place on July 19th. An F1 spokesperson told RaceFans they are still in discussions with the government on finding a way for the race to go ahead despite the latest setback:

We have been working closely with government on the implications of the policy for Formula 1 and Silverstone and those discussions are ongoing at this time with the aim of finding a solution with safety as our first priority.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Stefano sees another reason why an F1 simulation game would be difficult to create:

To be honest, I think they face an even bigger problem. F1 cars are too hard to drive, let alone the complexity and the number of operations the driver has to perform, on the steering wheel in the first place. Nobody who is not a professional could realistically manage the real thing, and I’m not even taking into account the forces acting on your body.

If you want to make it real as a simulator, it’s just too hard and too complex. You want to make it playable in some way, you end up with an hybrid half-simulation / half-something else, which might be just fine for everyone using it.

But this way they would risk to make it too simple, and yet call it a simulator. And then you would have thousands or hundreds of people who get really good at it and then it will become common for people to believe that in the end an F1 car is hard to drive but not so much, look at how many random guys are good on the simulator!

That’s why I’m not interested in seeing an ‘F1 simulation game’ come out: it can’t happen, and if it does it’s not for good.
Stefano (@Alfa145)

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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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  • 41 comments on “British GP in doubt as government offers no exemption from quarantine rules”

    1. Re COTD: I disagree. I think if you remove the fear factor and physical conditioning, the skillset to manage an F1 car is high but not so prohibitive that there aren’t millions of people out there who could do so competently with practice, at a level that would be rewarding and fun to them.

      I think you could say the same about commercial airliners—it takes a professional to get the job done in real-life, in terms of the complexity of the systems, the instrumentation, and the stick-and-rudder skills necessary to land them under challenging conditions. And yet flight simulators—which are very meticulous in recreating all of that complexity—have been a staple of computer games since the beginning of home computers.

      Of course flight sims have become more of a niche genre as they have grown in complexity—but they’ve also become more useful to real-life pilots as a form of training for exactly that reason.

      1. Agree with this. There’s very little that a large percentage of the population cannot at least become capable of if they have enough practice. The physical aspect tends to be the more difficult blocker (fitness) than skillset. Needs practice. Mastery is more difficult but coming to a level of some form of competency is easily achievable with practice.

      2. The whole idea of a simulation game is to take something real and make it into a game. While keeping it as realistic as possible while also making sure the end result is a game and works as a game. Modern f1 cars are incredibly complex and teams spend a ton of time and resources before every event just to make sure they get most out of their tires, aero, suspension and power unit. Each of those things is very complex as they are also interconnected in various ways. But making a game is all about simplification. It is about managing complexity. There are simulation games about flying fighter jets, helicopters and commercial airliners. It can be done and it will be hardcore simulator even if it can not simulate the reality exactly perfectly.

        When it comes to games and especially f1 cars I think the biggest issue is not the complexity. The complexity can be made into a game. It just takes skill from the developer to manage it into a usable product. Iracing for example has the lemans hybrid prototypes. It can be done. It has been done. Complex? Yes. Does it work as a simulation game? Yes. Is it complete simulator? No, it doesn’t even have rain. F1 cars in 2 hour race is simpler than lemans protos in a 24 hour races. The simulation complexity is just a game development issue. Leave out stuff that doesn’t matter, simplify where possible and make sure the essential stuff is right. After all making a game or simulation is also just game design. Can’t have everything.

        The tricky part is in the handling. F1 cars are difficult to drive. More so than lemans protos. Extremely high levels of grip, complex aerodynamics and car setup and lots of power. Tires that are extremely sensitive to everything… Very unforgiving, things happen quickly and lap time difference between a novice and a good player can be 10 seconds. In every game that has f1 cars the f1 cars are usually the hardest to drive. In that sense I agree with alfa145 about the difficulty of driving the cars. Which is why more arcade handling in codemasters’ game makes sense. The cars need to be drivable on a pad by people who can’t tell which end of the f1 is the front unless told so.

    2. I understand what Stefano is trying to say. But i disagree that it can’t be done.

      The purpose of the simulation will be for the hardcore sim racers and real racers. It’ll be not identical to the real thing just simply due to IP limitations, but will be a step towards understanding how to operate a Formula 1 car. Giving a platform to nurture young talent, and keep current drivers in practice while maintaining testing restrictions.

      If some gamers say this’ll be too hard, there’s always Codemasters. Otherwise, a truer simulation will help lure real drivers into the virtual world and add value to the online face of F1, while engaging the truly curious and most competitive of sim racers.

    3. GIVE IT UP people. 2020 is a wash. Let’s everybody go home, get some sleep and come back in hope for 2021.

      1. Well if YOU have the money to pay all the staff at struggling teams like Williams, Haas, etc before they collapse, then why didn’t you say it?
        Liberty are such fools…they have the solution right in front of them and instead they bother trying to put races together for no apparent reason. Silly Liberty…

      2. There will not be a 2021 if we can’t race soon…

        1. Thing is… If the British based teams can’t go in and out of the UK between races, it’s impossible to go racing this year.

          Williams and Haas will definitely not make it to 2021 and McLaren, Renault and Alfa seem very questionable to me. Also, will Liberty itself, and thus F1 as a racing series, even survive?

          We might have already seen the last ever F1 race….

          1. @sunnchilde @spafrancorchamps @black
            I still haven’t lost hope of getting at least some racing within this year. I’ve had this hope the whole time and still have.
            @jeffreyj – Yes, holding races (even those outside the UK) is going to be difficult unless F1 people get the exemption they’re still seeking from the powers above in the UK.
            Yes, some teams mightn’t necessarily survive for next year.
            I’m optimistic the most recent Abu Dhabi GP isn’t going to remain as the ‘last ever’ F1-race forever, though.

            1. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s wise to do so. I’ve been reading stories about a possibly more nasty mutation coming out 9f China. We do not yet have a handle on this emergency. Until we do, racing cars around a track is the last thing we need to worry about.

    4. The 14-day quarantine for arrivals into the UK kills F1 for the foreseeable future, not just the British GP. More than half of the teams are based in the UK and if they leave to go to Austria, for example, they will need to quarantine all members on return. I can’t see them wanting to do that.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        23rd May 2020, 7:59

        they will need to quarantine all members on return.

        There won’t be as many ‘returns’; maybe just 3 (after the European, American, and Asian leg).

        1. So for a travelling team member, I guess it will act out like this…

          Say goodbye to your family, you won’t see them for a few months.
          And when you eventually get back, you probably shouldn’t see your family, cos you need to be in quarantine.
          But don’t worry, you should only need to go through that 3 times.

          1. ColdFly (@)
            23rd May 2020, 9:07

            Not too dissimilar to many other people who work overseas. Only in this case it’s your government asking you to do it rather than the distance.

            1. True, but I’d argue peopke working overseas generally do it by choice, rather than having the situation thrust upon you.

              I wonder how many normally travelling team staff will choose not to travel?

              Although I guess there is some room for agreement on this depending on job role and the agreed max number of people allowed per team.

            2. Although I guess there is some room for agreement on this depending on job role and the agreed max number of people allowed per team.

              I hope and expect that they’ll do that, @eurobrun.
              Or maybe they can declare the pit boxes temporary diplomatic posts and part of UK territory.

          2. Why is this such an terribly tough proposition?

            These are, after all, very well paid professionals in high-profile jobs (even the mechanics and support staff) who are accustomed to a lot of travel, and thus a lot of absence from home, in normal circumstances.

            Now they are faced with an extreme and (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime situation that threatens the very basis of the sport they are working for. Is it an unreasonably big ask for them to make this sacrifice on a 4-6 month time frame (at the absolute outside)?

            1. Working in F1 isn’t all glamour and loads of cash. The mechanics, hospitality etc staff all make similar money to what they’d make in other similar jobs outside of F1. Maybe a small percentage more, but not the sort of money anyone would stick around for if teams started demanding they left their families for months on end.

            2. If I could keep my job by going overseas for a few months I’d go!

      2. The mistake was not pulling the British GP forward to a date before June 8th….

        The most ridiculous thing about this 14 day quarantine thing is that it won’t be in force for another 2 weeks!

        1. ColdFly (@)
          23rd May 2020, 9:14

          It is ridiculous that it will only start in 2 weeks (or 3 months too late), but not surprising for the government with the most inconsistent and incoherent response to the crisis in Europe (even Belarus was more consistent).

          1. haha. @coldfly
            If only Belarus had invested in an FIA grade 1 circuit, they’d be laughing right now!

            1. If only Belarus had invested in an FIA grade 1 circuit, they’d be laughing right now!

              They can use the ice skating rink. According to their president it’s totally safe. @eurobrun

        2. @eurobrun That might be, although moving it to the first quarter of June or earlier could/would be too early. How could the British GP take place this early if none of the three originally scheduled for June could take place on their scheduled days, hence, the reason for taking them off? This is one way to look at it and ponder.

          1. I guess that was supposed to be JULY 8th.

          2. @jerejj sorry, sarcasm and satire don’t really work so well in text form.
            I don’t think you’re British, so I wouldn’t expect you to know about the ineffectiveness of our government.

            My reason for the race being before 8th June (literally impossible, I know) was because until that date there are actually NO restrictions or mandatory quarantine requirements in place for someone arriving in the UK!
            So effectively arrive in the UK on the 7th June = do what you like.
            Arrive on the 8th June = 2 week mandatory quarantine with threat of fines for ignoring this.

            1. @eurobrun True, I’m not British. You got that right. I didn’t really intend to be sarcastic, though, but I get what you mean.

            2. Haha, no I was being sarcastic lol :)

    5. F1 is a global event that requires considerable travel for the people involved, exactly the sort of thing that shouldn’t be done any time soon. F1 management hasn’t looked great during this pandemic, from the farce in Australia, the lack of a decent F1 game and now making season plans without consulting with the relevant governments.

    6. On entry, write “silverstone” as the quarantine address. Job done, for overseas teams anyway ;)

      Domestic teams really seem to have a much tougher choice. Feels like anyone travelling with the race team is going to be stuck in quarantine for the duration – maybe that doesn’t work out too badly, it really means that for race team members, any time back in the UK will be under quarantine rules.

      Its also not clear for how long; countries with sar-cov-2 under control might form a quarantine free travel club. I’m struggling to see the UK meeting the requirements for membership in the near-term though.

      1. – On entry, write “silverstone” as the quarantine address…

        Actually doesn’t sound so stupid to be honest. I’ve not actually seen it said “where” you would have to isolate. Also a “family” would be expected to isolate together, so there is no reason why the “Formula 1 family” couldn’t all isolate together at Silverstone for 2 weeks and race under isolating (no contact with anyone from outside the F1 family) in their “down time”.

        The current rules are vague and if anyone knows how to manipulate rules, its F1

        1. My opinion is free
          23rd May 2020, 15:11

          They may well manipulate the rules that they can and then just pay fines for breaking others if it is economically beneficial to do that. but if there isn’t a vast improvement in this outbreak plus a serious relaxation of movement restrictions across England (ignoring the devolved areas that set their own restrictions) by early July then handing a pile of quarantine waivers to a host of F1 teams and associated staff will go down like a lead balloon with the populace at large and the media will turn over every stone to find a Covid case that can be linked to it. It’s a potential PR nightmare that could explode in the Sports face, here in UK at least.

    7. The quarantine measure is absolute nonsense. You take away liberty from people for 2 weeks, while they are probably not a threat to anyone. Much better would be to test everyone entering the UK on COVID-19. And test again 2-3 days later just to make sure. Or quarantaine for 2 days, then test them.

      Freedom is the foundation of the constitution. In the fight against the virus, governments should do their best to fight it while regaining people’s liberty as much as possible. UK government is like: we want to kill corona, but we aren’t paying for any test kits, let citizens pay with their liberty.

      It is plain wrong what is happening right here. They messed up the first wave and they continue messing up more and more. Meanwhile, other countries have got everything under control and are slowly re-opening. It should be time to restart our economy right now and our day to day lives.

      Fight corona, not our liberty.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        23rd May 2020, 10:27

        People are free not to travel. They can make that choice. You have a very limited understanding of liberty and freedom and are cherry picking things to make bad arguments. It’s also a lie that other countries have it under control.

        If you say it’s ok to risk lives for the economy that’s fine and that is a good and complex discussion which at some points has to be had, but hiding behind “governement takes away freedom” shows the lack of understanding of the whole picture and how everything is connected.

        1. It’s also a lie that other countries have it under control.

          (aside) Thats a bit harsh, some have done a commendable job – check out how places like Taiwan and Vietnam have managed it. How much more are you expecting?

          This sentence got me wondering exactly how much “under control” sars-cov-2 needs to be for something like F1 to operate. It wasn’t a very happy line of thought in the end; the F1 teams are largely based in countries that have lost control and had to go through lockdowns. “safe” countries are partly so by limiting the activities of potential sufferers, and F1 won’t necessarily be worth enough to them to manage those risks.

          For not-so-safe countries, all that management still applies, plus their leaders may not be so keen to create a tier of “elites” that can bypass restrictions

    8. I think it would be a shame to not have a British Grand Prix and race everywhere else in Europe.”

      Why? If things are worse over there than the rest of Europe, dropping the British GP over other races is fair… Each country reacted differently to the pandemic and some have it worse than others so it makes.sense to treat each country independently

      1. Indeed, they cancelled the Hanoi race. In a country that, to date, has not lost a single person to covid and has only had 354 people infected. They cancelled Thailand – a country that has lost 56 people since January. Thailand loses 65 people every day on their roads.

        Meanwhile, in the UK, they are still detecting 3000+ new cases a day and it is the media’s thirst for the ‘new thing’ (happy covid story) that means this detail is getting buried under pages of reasons why the football, tennis and F1 should be able to start for the ‘good of the people’ (nothing to do with huge sums of money).
        The government has now confirmed (about 7 weeks late) that 14 day quarantine will apply but, as usual, without a lot of clarity. Truck drivers may be exempt and other exemptions will be given, probably on a ‘who can pay more’ basis.
        However, with the relaxation of the lockdown, new cases are likely to increase in a week or two and, if it can be managed well (not a well documented feature of the current administration) we should see progress with more places opening up and quarantine where necessary. What is more likely though is that the figures spike, we get a lot of dithering and finger pointing prevails, rules get changed in a mad panic, a new dismal 3 word slogan will appear and all the well thought out plans go down the toilet. The next 2 weeks is the telling time. Fingers crossed…

        1. @mrfill Thailand doesn’t have an F1-race, though.

          1. There is a world outside of F1…

            1. Just checked it, Thailand is not cancelled; still there ;)

    9. There has never been a major global pandemic that hasn’t had multiples waves.
      If we want to see global sport and travel return by 2021, sacrifices have to be made now.
      Things could get much worse before they get better unless people learn to cooperate.
      What I first assumed was a cognition gap in some people unfortunately seems to be brazen selfishness.
      I not only worry for the sport I love, but for our humanity in a time of crisis.

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