F1 not exempt from new corona measures

Ruben Hill
May 23, 2020

Seven out of ten Formula 1 teams have their base in the United Kingdom and they were told later today that they will not be exempted from the new measures.

On Friday, the government unveiled its plans to force all global travellers to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival into the United Kingdom from June 8.

The government measures are expected to contain an exempt list but as it stands F1 is set to be snubbed. Those entering the United Kingdom will also undergo random spot checks at border control. But while it persuaded Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, of its case, it failed to convince the Prime Minister, who feared that such a dispensation would encourage several other sports to appeal for the same treatment.

The Hungaroring, on the outskirts of Budapest, is also in contention, given that it lies just 260 miles from the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg, Austria, where the first two races of a much-delayed campaign are scheduled to be held on July 5 and 12.

F1 has been in regular dialogue with the United Kingdom government and had hoped to be granted exemption for those travelling for F1 as they would be able to prove they are virus-free under a strict "biosphere" plan which will see staff regularly tested for coronavirus.

If Silverstone can not host the third and fourth rounds of the world championship, F1's contingency plan involves staging races at Hockenheim in Germany or at the Hungaroring, or eventually at both venues, meaning British teams would remain out of the United Kingdom for over a month before returning to base and submitting to the 14-day isolation period.

The quarantine scheme will be reviewed every three weeks, meaning that it may not be in force by late July when F1 had been hoping to run at Silverstone.

Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle told Sky Sports F1 on Friday that he remained optimistic the government stance could be changed and freedoms could be allowed for the British GP to go ahead at some point.

"It's a very complex sport to get going because it's a global championship with a huge logistical tail", he said.

"I am very clear that the importance of the industry is understood by government", he said.

"So I remain optimistic that a sensible and pragmatic solution, which puts the onus on the sport quite rightly to come up with the right solution, can be found".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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