The World Motorsport Council has considered its prior guidelines not drastic enough in the current COVID-19 development scenario and now, Formula 1 shutdown has therefore been extended from the original 35 days to 63.
In the middle of March and all due to the crisis of the coronavirus, Formula 1 decided to anticipate its “shutdown” period. This is a period in which the Sports Regulations dictate that all teams must enter in a mandatory shutdown of their factories for two weeks. This shutdown is usually in August. This is a well-deserved holiday for all the people in the paddock and the staff working in the factories.
Today, on the 28 April, the FIA has released a new statement concerning the mandatory shutdown period all competitors have to observe. The initial 35 days span was not considered enough, accounting for the present and future Coronavirus threat.
All the teams will have to keep their factories off for 63 consecutive days during the months of March, April, May and/or June.
Surrounded by uncertainty regarding future pandemic scenarios, the WMC informed that, 50 days after the start of the shutdown period, upon application by a competitor, and subject to the prior written approval of the FIA, each competitor may use the services of a maximum of ten personnel to work remotely on long-lead-time projects.
A shorter span of shutdown time has been imposed on the Power Unit manufacturers (Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda, and Renault) any work on the engine development has been forbidden for 49 consecutive days (including the original 35). Also for them, subject to the same rules and approvals as for all the competitors, ten people per constructor could work remotely after 36 days from the start of the period.
Formula 1 seems to be willing to start the season in July, possibly with a season opener at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian GP. In order to do so, it’s crucial for every team to keep every worker safe as it is the best way to pursue this goal.