‘Social distancing in F1 not always possible’

Date published: June 2 2020

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Pat Symonds has said it will not be possible to respect social distancing measures at all times, but is confident Formula 1 tracks will still be a safe place.

Formula 1 racing action is officially returning on July 5 with eight races in a 10-week period and, in order to ensure the safety of all personnel as much as possible, teams and officials are working towards a five-stage programme which includes all races taking place behind closed doors.

Another step included is social distancing, but Symonds has said that will not always be possible. However, with Formula 1 effectively creating a “bubble within a bubble” with their other measures, he is confident that team members will not at further risk.

“There are aspects of operating at a Grand Prix that really preclude social distancing,” he said, speaking to Enginuity, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

“Our fans need to understand that everyone won’t be two metres apart, you can’t envisage a pit stop where that happens, so we have to take even more precautions.

“It’s an incredibly complex operation that’s changing day by day as regulations and our understanding changes but we want to ensure safety above everything: that is our critical remit.

“There are bubbles within bubbles. We are trying to keep that level of isolation without the social distancing that we all know is so effective.”

Symonds also thinks we could be on course for one very exciting season even without fans attending the circuit.

“The minute the guys get strapped in the cars, the minute the visors come down, there’s only one thing that matters: and that’s winning the race,” he added.

“In Austria everyone is going to feel different, the old habits will have to change.

“It’s going to be as exciting as ever, maybe even more exciting than ever, there’s time compression involved now.

“You just have to be at it all the time and I think that’s going to make for a really great season.”

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