In the paddock of the Grand prix of Australia no one undertakes to predict how many Formula 1 races we will see this year. In any case, the stages in Melbourne and Bahrain will go according to plan, but what will happen next is not known. One thing is clear: the situation with coronavirus can develop unpredictably.
“We adjust plans every hour and every day. In the worst case scenario, you can expect the season to end after two races, ”said Alan Permane, Renault Sports Director.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, Chase Carey, executive director of Formula 1, is currently in talks with the organizers of the Grand Prix of Vietnam. They would like to hold a race scheduled for the first weekend of April, but at the moment, entry into this country is actually closed. Vietnamese authorities have introduced a temporary cancellation of visas issued to citizens of most European countries, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the UK and Finland.
According to information not officially confirmed, the negotiations ended with the decision to postpone the race, but there are no detailed information yet.
Meanwhile, Australian Grand Prix promoters have issued a seven-page memorandum explaining how to behave in an emergency and what symptoms may indicate coronavirus infection. This document also says where to go if you have any suspicions of this kind: a special hotline is already working.
Of course, it explains in detail how the evacuation of patients will be carried out in case of suspected infection, where hospitals and medical centers are located, as well as places where quarantine will be organized if necessary.
During the second stage of the season, the Grand prix of Bahrain, there will be unprecedentedly severe restrictions: for the first time in the history of Formula 1, the race will be held with empty stands, the Paddock Club will also be closed, all sponsorship events will be canceled, because the teams are forbidden to invite guests. From the press, only journalists who have permanent accreditation for all races of the season will be allowed to the race track.
It is already known that the Formula 1 management will not send to Bahrain 260 employees, as originally planned, but only 180.
Teams have to constantly adjust their logistics plans, as the number of flights to Manama, the capital of this island nation, is reduced to a minimum. Because of this, part of the team members will have to fly out of Melbourne on Saturday. But the situation is really changing hourly, and no one can say what news tomorrow will bring.