Brawn expecting positive COVID-19 case in F1 at some point

So far, Formula 1’s rigorous protocols and bubble organization have kept COVID-19 out of the paddock but motorsport boss Ross Brawn is expecting a case to emerge at some point.

Formula 1 worked tirelessly with the FIA and local organizers to ensure the sport’s safe kick-off in Austria last week despite the widespread pandemic, but also its continued protection moving forward over the summer.

From limiting staff numbers among teams to organizing bubbles at and away from the paddock in which personnel respects social distancing and hygiene norms, everything has been undertaken to minimize risks of contamination and propagation.

Since the beginning of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend on July 3 to last Thursday, the sport has conducted 4566 tests for COVID-19 on drivers, teams and personnel, with zero indivuduals testing positive.

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But Brawn knows that F1 remains exposed to the virus creeping in through any minor crack that may exist.

“I think when we had the shock of Melbourne, we came back and we kind of had to recover form that but then started to think about what could we do to start racing again,” Brawn told Sky F1.

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“I think motor racing is very good at logistics, very good at organising… plan A, plan B, plan C is our bread and butter, that’s what we do all the time.

“With the FIA, Formula 1, promotors, with the teams, we started regular meetings to work out a plan and how we could go racing.

“The concept of the biosphere and the big bubble… That means we will get a positive at some stage but we hope then we can control it and minimise the risk.

“My wife was quite concerned about me coming here and I said this should be the safest place for me to ever be, and that was the objective.

“Touch wood we’ve been ok so far but we can’t get complacent.”

In light of the recent liberties taken by Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc who both travelled back to Monaco after last weekend’s event, and with the Ferrari driver failing to remain within his social bubble, F1 teams have been warned that personnel will be restricted to hotel and track next week in Hungary.

And any transgressions by team members and drivers could lead to fines of €15,000 euros and to potentially a sentence of imprisonment!

“Everyone’s keen to get racing as long as we can offer a safe environment to do it,” added Brawn.

“We need to ensure that Formula 1, being an international sport moving around the world, we don’t become a sport that takes COVID into a country.

“We’ve got to be someone who countries can totally rely on being a safe activity to have.”

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