Former F1 Driver Hints at an Even Bigger Delay to the Start of the Season Amid Coronavirus Scare

April 3, 2020 11:31 am

Former F1 driver Mark Webber believes F1 won’t be starting any time soon, let alone in July. The Australian also spoke about the sport’s enormous logistics and its impact in trying to schedule races. As things stand, the F1 season will officially get underway in Canada.

8 races of the 2020 F1 World Championship have been cancelled or postponed. By virtue of these delays, Montreal has emerged as an unlikely candidate to host the season opener. The chances of that happening are wafer-thin as the country struggles with a massive Coronavirus outbreak. The same applies to France, which is the succeeding race.

This leaves July as the earliest tentative start to the season. Some pundits believe the delay extends to August while others are optimistic of a July start. The big question is how F1 fits in the postponed races.

F1 has many options but all of them involve planning and preparation to a great degree. First, the sport could consider condensed race weekends to quickly wrap up a Grand Prix. Coupled with triple headers. F1 could use ‘sprint weekends’ to get through many races of the European part of the calendar.

Silverstone, the track which hosts the British Grand Prix, is open to hosting multiple rounds. Track authorities have suggested holding a second race in a reverse layout as round 2 of the championship.

Apart from this, the sport could extend the season to early 2021 and get more races in at a uniform pace. However, this is contingent on the situation improving on a worldwide basis. Should the season start get delayed till August, F1 can hold the season till January to get a meaningful championship in 2020.

Mark Webber doesn’t really see July as a potential season starter. Speaking to Precision Hydration, the Aussie said:

“It’s a ginormous headache because Formula 1 is an extraordinary, fast-moving business,”

“It’s a global sport, freight is an issue and logistically it’s one of the most challenging sports. They’re looking at around July but I still think that is very, very optimistic.

F1 teams plan their logistics for many months in advance. The sport’s decision has a big impact on shipping which directly affects a team’s participation in a race weekend.

“Formula One, with the travelling circus and even TV which requires huge production teams, faces a big challenge

Abhishek Bharadwaj

Abhishek Bharadwaj is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. While his Formula One idols include Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, he also supports the Aston Martin F1 team. He holds an engineering degree in Information Science but has undying passion for fast cars.

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