F1's COVID-19 protocols mean it can now race 'anywhere', says FIA

The FIA believes the COVID-19 protocols it has put in place means that Formula 1 can now feel comfortable racing 'anywhere' governments allow it in.

F1's COVID-19 protocols mean it can now race 'anywhere', says FIA

Following intense efforts from motor racing’s governing body and F1’s owner Liberty Media, the sport has been able to pull together a full calendar of events since racing resumed in Austria in July.

Having included intensive triple headers, plus the extra logistical challenge of a Russian GP flyaway, there is confidence that the procedures in place can see it host an event wherever in the world now.

Bruno Famin, the FIA’s director of operations who is in charge of the governing body’s Covid protocols, has faith that as long as governments are happy to host F1, then the sport can hold an event in any country.

“For me the only problem is the travel restrictions from the government,” he told Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview.

“We have raced already in some countries or in some regions where the COVID situation was quite bad, and we managed it.

“I think the protocol and the people – because they are very professional – means that we have the evidence that the protocol works in all circumstances.

“The problem is the legal issue, the travel restrictions. If we have to quarantine or not, and if the local organiser has honoured the authorisation to build the event. That is the key point. It's not the protocol itself.

“I think with the protocol we can race everywhere, anywhere. But it depends on the authorisation and the possibility to travel there.”

Read Also:

F1 is hoping to pull together a more normal calendar next season, although it is unclear right now just how many of the regular events will be able to get the green light amid uncertainty about where the coronavirus pandemic will flare up over the next few months.

Famin said that in terms of planning for new rounds in the future, the FIA needs around six week's notice to get events operating.

“We always prepare four to six weeks before an event, having the first contact with the local organiser together with FOM,” he said.

“We have to organise the processes with the local authorities. We have to know how we're going to work with the testing company, and a testing lab.

“We have all these high density, low density, red zone, yellow zone areas to manage. And to know where are the limits, who is allowed to go where, how do we do the temperature check.

“It is all these details, then on the layout, on the testing process. After, it’s the official process in case of a positive case, and we are managing it with the local organiser.”

Bruno Famin

Bruno Famin

Although there has been an up tick in positive cases in recent weeks, mostly involving ancillary staff not connected to F1, the FIA or teams, Famin says that he is happy with where things are at.

“From the very beginning of the season after the Melbourne event, when we restarted in Austria, the challenge was not to avoid positive cases,” he said.

“It was of course to avoid as much as we can. But the main thing was to have processes, which enable us to keep racing, to keep doing the event, even having positive cases, without generating any outbreak within the paddock or within the local population. That was the challenge.

“Then having positive cases is just normal. The challenge is to be able to manage it, to identify the close contact, to isolate the close contact, to kill the beginning of possible outbreak without having more trouble. That's really the challenge, for all the events where we are going.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why Honda's exit will not force F1 hybrid U-turn

Previous article

Why Honda's exit will not force F1 hybrid U-turn

Next article

Banned: The full story behind Brabham's F1 'fan car'

Banned: The full story behind Brabham's F1 'fan car'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021