F1 to scrap traditional podium ceremony for 2020
Formula 1's sporting director Ross Brawn has revealed that the traditional podium ceremony will be missing when racing restarts in Austria next month.
The FIA, F1 and the teams have been working through all aspects of the race weekend in order to ensure compliance with new COVID-19 guidelines that the governing body has introduced.
All the pre- and post-race ceremonies will look very different as contact between people is minimised, and social distancing implemented.
“Because of the implementation of the procedures, we need to be safe and sure of the COVID-19 situation,” Brawn told F1.com. “The practises we have had in the past just can’t be done.
“So every aspect from the time teams arrive to the time they leave has been thought through, and it’s not completely finalised, but we’re working with the FIA to polish it.
“The podium procedure can’t happen, but we’re looking at doing something on the grid after the race. One option would be to line the cars up on the track and the drivers will stand in front of cars.
“We can’t present the trophies, as you can’t have someone in close proximity presenting a trophy, but we have worked it out, we have plans and procedures, we’re looking at how we can present it on TV.”
It's not just Formula 1's podium ceremony that will have a very different look. Several other features in Sunday's build-up to the race will have to be revamped.
“The [Sunday morning] drivers' parade won’t happen as we can’t put 20 drivers on the back of a truck and take it round the track," Brawn added.
"So instead we will interview with each one of them in front of the garage. There’s plenty of ways we can engage without compromising health and safety.
“I’m 100% confident that we will make it an engaging and exciting product, it will just be different. This is the new norm. How long will this carry on? We don’t know, but this will be the new norm for the rest of the year for sure.”
As previously reported the grid procedure will look very different, with a minimal number of people present and without the usual ceremonies.
“Things like the national anthem, you can’t have all the drivers grouped together,” said Brawn. “And you can’t have our FIA Future Stars stood in front of them.
“The FIA Future Stars will still be part of the show virtually. They will have the uniforms sent to them and they’ll send us videos of them with a message which we can play, so there are lots of things we can do to make it entertaining.”
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