FIA expects little change in Covid-19 restrictions for 2021 season

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Much of the restrictions put in place to allowed Formula 1 races to go ahead in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are likely to remain for next season, the FIA believes.

Formula 1 and other motorsports have enforced tight restrictions on personnel to limit the potential spread of the virus following the delayed start to their seasons.

Teams are not allowed to mix within the paddock and media access has been restricted. While no fans were admitted to the first eight races of 2020, a small number of spectators have been allowed into this weekend’s race at Mugello, and larger audiences will be permitted at future rounds.

However with cases of the virus rising in many countries, and doubt remaining over when a vaccine might become available, the sport’s governing body believes many of the Covid-19 restrictions will still be needed in 2021.

FIA president Jean Todt said they are consulting with medical experts on the likely spread of the pandemic over the coming year.

“Eric Caumes has been helping us, he is among the very few French experts on epidemiology,” said Todt. “We have been blessed to have [FIA Institute president] Gerard Saillant – in fact he was introduced to us by Gerard Saillant – and he’s helping us.

“I must say together with all the team at the FIA it has been an excellent job. Some times it’s constraining, but with great results.”

Caumes said in his view “2021 will be like 2020” in terms of the precautions which will be needed to control the virus.

All personnel connected with the running of Formula 1 races are required to produce negative tests for Covid-19 before entering the paddock. Since the season began a total of 47,290 tests have been administered and nine positive cases of the virus were discovered. These included two positive tests for Sergio Perez, who missed both races at Silverstone as a result.

The pandemic caused significant disruption to this year’s championship including the cancellation of at least a dozen races and the addition of new rounds at circuits which were not originally part of the schedule. The 2021 F1 calendar has not yet been confirmed.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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3 comments on “FIA expects little change in Covid-19 restrictions for 2021 season”

  1. But to how great extent and for how big portion of the season? Would, for example, every single event next season feature people wearing masks when within the track boundaries and paddock? What about street circuits, i.e., temporary circuits that were all lost for this year?

    1. It does raise quite serious issues for the calendar again, right @jerejj – I can understand if they want the team to keep to low personell numbers and keep to their bubbles.
      But if the consequence is no city racing events, and no (or very low numbers of) visitors that would make it hard to get the standard calendar work.

  2. @jerejj Too ealy to tell. If there’s a vaccine, I expect F1 will get vaccines for everyone (possibly excepting freelancers) as soon as possible, and then have standard seating for vaccinated spectators only (provision may or may not also exist for people without a vaccination, but if it does I expect it to be socially distanced in the stands, at minimum). F1 will likely try to pivot mid-season if the vaccine becomes generally available partway through proceedings.

    Without a vaccine, I expect it to be exactly like 2020 all season, with perhaps different venues coming to the fore as waves of illness move across the world.

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