3rd June 2020

Environment Formula 1 boss Chase Carey says positive test would not cancel a race

Environment Formula 1 boss Chase Carey says positive test would not cancel a race


environment Chase Carey

American Chase Carey has been F1 boss since 2017

A race would not be cancelled in the re-started season if a driver or team member tested positive for coronavirus, says Formula 1 boss Chase Carey.

The F1 chairman and chief executive was speaking after F1 announced the first eight races of a rescheduled 2020 season starting in Austria on 5 July.

“We will have a procedure in place that finding an infection will not lead to a cancellation,” said Carey.

“If a driver has an infection, [teams have] reserve drivers available.”

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off in March after a McLaren team member tested positive.

But Carey told the F1 website: “The array of ‘what ifs’ are too wide to play out every one of them, but a team not being able to race wouldn’t cancel the race.”

Carey’s remarks echo previous similar statements made by Jean Todt, the president of governing body the FIA, and the FIA’s chief medical officer Professor Gerard Saillant.

Nevertheless, they raise a series of questions.

Among them are that Carey and F1 also wanted the race in Melbourne to go ahead before it was effectively forced off after seven of the 10 teams refused to race.

There are also questions over how F1 could be seen to be controlling any potential virus spread in the event of a positive test given the close proximity in which individual teams work together.

But Carey said he was confident the strict protocols F1 was setting up to minimise the risk with the coronavirus would prove sufficient to allay concerns.

“There is a rigorous set of guidelines – probably at this point it’s 80-90 pages, Carey said.

“Clearly we recognise our sport is one which, at times, we can’t have two metres between every individual on a team. We need to make sure we have procedures to manage all those risks as soon as possible.”

BBC Sport understands that the isolation and test-and-trace protocols have been discussed not only with F1 team principals but also with the bosses of the companies they represent, such as Daimler and Ferrari.

All are said to have agreed that, in principle, the controls are sufficient for racing to go ahead in the event of a small number of positive tests.

The Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July will be the first of eight European races that will be crammed into the space of two months ending with the Italian Grand Prix on 6 September.

The rest of the season has not been confirmed because of the uncertainties of the coronavirus situation in the countries involved but Carey says he is confident the season will run to between 15 and 18 races.

“We’re not going to give a deadline right now,” Carey said. “Our goal would be before the end of June to, if not complete the rest of the calendar, is to have a handle on it.”


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