As the global pandemic threatens increasing numbers or races on F1’s 2020 calendar, solutions are arising that could enable racing get underway. One of these solutions, is Ross Brawn’s plan to create a biosphere which would allow back to back races in Austria to start the season.
With many races already cancelling, F1 still aims to hold 15 to 18 races in 2020. This ambitious target is to be achieved with careful planning by F1 management. Aiming to race in Europe over the summer period, they have already cancelled the usual summer break and are planning consecutive races at venues such as Austria (5 July 2020) to facilitate this.
Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Brawn stated “One of the logistical challenges is getting everyone tested and cleared to enter the paddock and enter the racing environment,”. As seen in Australia, cases of the virus within teams leads to the cancellation of events.
The plan for the Austrian Grand Prix
The plan for extensive testing and regulation within the paddock was explained by Brawn who said it would be “very attractive to keep everyone in that environment, within that kind of biosphere that we want to create for another race.”
Austria was said to be a prime place to establish this biosphere due to its unique characteristics such as the “local airport right next to the circuit, where people can charter planes into.” as well as how “It’s not too close to a metropolis” and “has a great infrastructure around it.”
These characteristics mean F1 personnel will be tested and isolated from ‘outsiders’ to prevent infection. Brawn believes once this is set up it will be “appealing to have another race the following week.”
Finally Brawn revealed how it was imperative for the season to begin. Although many races “will be without fans, which is a great shame”, TV deals will still generate revenue. This revenue will help keep the sport going while protecting a “very important livelihood for thousands of people”.