Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2019

Sao Paulo governor requests grand prix date change

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In the round-up: the Sao Paulo Grand Prix will be held at full capacity with compulsory masks, says Sao Paulo governor Joao Doria.

In brief

Sao Paolo governor requests race date change

The governor of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, announced during a press conference yesterday that the Sao Paulo Grand Prix would take place at full capacity with compulsory masks enforced for all fans in attendance.

Doria also confirmed that the city had requested that Formula 1 move the date of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix from the weekend of November 7th to the following weekend of November 14th, in order to coincide with Brazil’s Republic Proclamation Day – a national holiday observed the following Monday.

According to the World Health Organization, Brazil has suffered the highest casualty rate from the covid-19 coronavirus of any nation aside from the United States of America, with over 568,000 recorded deaths.

Ferrari to benefit from additional wind tunnel time – Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes Ferrari will gain a small benefit from the additional wind tunnel time allotted to them under the regulations due to their sixth place finish in last season’s constructors’ championship, but that it will not be a “game-changer”.

“The wind tunnel, in terms of balance or performance, if we look at it obviously for the position we finished last year, we’ve got some more time at the wind tunnel,” Binotto says.

“The extra time we’ve got is corresponding to what we call a ‘session’ at the wind tunnel on the entire season. So it’s an extra session and normally an expectation is a week of development. And normally a week of development is less than 0.1 second per laps. So yes, it is certainly an advantage, but it’s less than 0.1 second per lap. Still important, still happy to have it, not because of the result of last year, because it’s something we’ve got in 2021. But I don’t believe that’s a game-changer. It is not.”

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Comment of the day

With Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon the two closest matched pair of team mates on the grid at this stage in the season, is it possible to pick which of the two is on top at the halfway point? Alberto struggles to gauge Ocon’s performance versus his illustrious returning team mate…

Tough one to judge. Alonso despite being older, is one of the faster guys out there. But if I am honest, considering his age and his absence for so long, I was expecting Ocon to completely over shine Alonso until now and maybe the gap to close towards the end of the season. Despite winning a grand prix this season, I don’t think Ocon has ever seen as a potential to become one of the greatest. So, I wonder what the picture would have been like if Alonso was teammates with someone like Leclerc or Russel, or even Ricciardo. Maybe I am too harsh on Ocon, time will tell.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 24 comments on “Sao Paulo governor requests grand prix date change”

    1. With the Delta strain currently running rampant and the complete lack of interest shown by the host country in applying much in the way of precautions, I’d be surprised if drivers and team staff actually have any desire to go to Brazil for the Grand Prix.
      I’ve had fully vaccinated and fairly fit relatives in the UK hospitalized with the Delta strain. Surely the FIA would have to consider the safety of all when deciding whether or not to go there.

      1. Nonsense. NPIs in Brazil are more strict than in the US, UK, or most of Europe, and it’s the only continent of the world where the Delta strain doesn’t dominate. Besides, Sao Paulo just crossed 90% of adults with the first dose, and we know for a scientific fact the vaccine prevents over 90% of hospitalizations with any strain. Anecdotal, potentially anti-vaxxer evidence from random people in the internet mean nothing.

        1. @dbradock,

          Brazil ranks fourth in Latin America for deaths per million in the last seven days. It is better positioned than Cuba, Honduras, and Argentina. Worldwide, it currently ranks 18th worst country.

          Brazil govt. on Monday reported 494 new deaths as a result of Covid-19, bringing the total number of fatalities from the disease in the country to 569,492, the Brazilian Health Ministry said.
          From: World Health Orig. From 3 January 2020 to 6:41pm CEST, 16 August 2021, there have been 20,350,142 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 568,788 deaths from covid, reported to WHO.
          As of 13 August 2021, a total of 152,806,767 vaccine doses have been administered.

          The earlier post above quoting info that 90% (equivalent to 32.3 million people) of Sao Paulo adults that have been given the first dose, That is indeed an impressive number of vaccinated. Majority of vaccines given in Sao Paulo are from the Chinese CoronaVac and Astrazeneca

          Could be anecdotal info or not BUT It doesn’t matter whether you believe the random anecdotal info by random people on the internet or from the Brazil government or from the WHO or from the São Paulo govt., all of it means nothing to F1.

          What does matter to F1 is what the UK Govt. classifies Brazil as, and currently it’s listed on the RED TRAVEL LIST. Which means F1 would have to be Booking and staying for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel after they’ve been in Brazil, a red list country.

          So as of right now, F1 will not be going to Brazil until it’s off the UK RED list or Unless the UK govt. gives F1 the green light for the schedule they want by the time F1 has to decide; if not then F1 has no choice but to bail out from racing in Brazil.

          1. @redpill The Red List thing indeed is what matters.

        2. I wasn’t implying any anti vax statement – merely pointing out that vaccination doesn’t prevent someone getting or transmitting the disease and in the case of Delta, there seems to be a higher number who are, and in some cases have needed to be hospitalised. Absolutely in favour of vaccination and had mine as soon as I could.

          All I’m saying is why would any sane organisation run an event in a country that is still regarded as a Red List country by the UK and others. I’d apply the same to the US race and any other country that is in a similar state.

          Even Australia, where I live is showing what happens when there’s a general attitude of “its over and everything is OK”.

          1. In Brazil variant of concern is Lambda and so far most vaccines seem to be quite ineffective against that variant.

            1. Thanks for adding that in here @Chaitanya. Yeah, so that Delta is not the prevalent version in Brazil might seem a bit of a good sign at first, until you realise that is just because they have a variant that seems even worse than Delta, so it prevails.

              Call me a cynic, but asking for such a late time calender change just for a national holiday in F1 seems a clear sign that he can ask for whatever he wants since he already knows that the event is more likely to be called off due to covid before he receives the anser (which would be a NO).

              I can see a calender change making sense, but only if it would help F1 to make Red list countries work for the teams – so that one would travel from Brazil to other countries that are not no that list first to make sure teams can return home after 11 from leaving Brazil. Not the other way round.

            2. @bascb The best (or only) way of nullifying the red list impact would be to swap Brazil and the US around. In this scenario, a race weekend would follow Brazil, and Mexico (also on UK’s red list since August 8) would be followed by a non-red list country (the US), so problem solved.

          2. @dbradock I agree, but the US isn’t on UK’s red list.

            1. @jerejj Yet. (Texas is having major problems getting COVID under control and is running out of ability to hide this through low testing due to ICUs hitting capacity; that’s a recipe for the UK exercising its right to put regions in different categories to the rest of the country – note that several other US states are having major trouble with COVID now, and some others are not, making it likely a region-by-region approach a la Spain/Greece will be taken, rather than a whole-country approach).

          3. @dbradock,

            Sorry DB, my comment wasn’t directed at you; my apologies.

            The Lambda variant or whatever new variant that (sadly) may come our way adds a twist and makes things more complicated on figuring out what things will be in five months from now.

      2. @dbradock There’s a bigger problem. Brazil is still on the UK red list due to rampant COVID-19, which means that even if F1 and its UK-based teams wanted to go to Brazil, they couldn’t.

        1. @alianora-la-canta Good point. I also saw these recent skeptical mentions on the US GP because of the Texas situation.
          Also spot on about Brazil, even though I and @redpill brought up the Red List impact before.

    2. I.e., return to the original race day, which coincidently was November 14. What would this help, though, given UK’s red list, which people seem to forget?
      Why not swap Interlagos and COTA around so that neither Brazil nor Mexico would have Red List issues?
      PS, I wish F1 would’ve merely axed Brazil altogether when they had the chance last year instead of committing longer-term. Even better, Interlagos should’ve been axed long ago, given the never-ending safety issues outside track boundaries.

    3. Re Brazil: Next up – revert the name. I don’t like this “not a country name” Grand Prix name at all.
      Re COTD: It was close…for now.

    4. What happened to the comment policy the one that blocked comments for having a different opinion to the author?

      1. @peartree That’s never been a thing at RaceFans.

        1. @alianora-la-canta looks like you haven’t been here long enough. F1fanatic days. Nevermind just last year I had a Romain comment deleted exactly because of a divergency in opinions.

          1. @peartree I’ve been here since 2007. I’ve seen many people claim RaceFans deletes comments for having a different opinion to the author, but on every occasion I’ve seen, the claimant was wrong.

        2. @alianora-la-canta Yes it is. Experienced it several times.

      2. @peartree Yes, any second guess about a comment gets you either a rejection or a deletion, shameful. We know there can be trolls out there but even respectful comments without any acid remarks for anyone to feel insulted but different opinions are barred. Some people very likely aren’t comfortable with freedom of expression, but there’s also a random factor on comment deletions that’s just weird. RaceFans was never widely known by UX prowess so everyone overlook that in the end.

      3. At least it allows mockeries!

        1. At least it allows mockeries!

          Only selectively. Sometimes even based on opinion.

    5. Ferrari’s 0.1 second per lap is still quite meaningful in the midfield. Almost forgot how many tokens and benefits they got by having such an atrocious last season, but then I have a slight suspicion it was even planned that way.

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