Pat Symonds, F1’s Chief Technical Officer has outlined the raft of measures that will get elite motor racing back on track in Austria next month.
Speaking exclusively to Engage, the new skills platform from Enginuity – supporting UK engineers, he said fans need to understand that everyone won’t be two metres apart.
“There are aspects of operating at a Grand Prix that really preclude social distancing – our fans need to understand that everyone won’t be two metres apart, you can’t envisage a pitstop where that happens, so we have to take even more precautions.”
“It’s an incredibly complex operation that’s changing day by day as regulations and our understanding changes -but we want to ensure safety above everything – that is our critical remit.
“There are bubbles within bubbles – we are trying to keep that level of isolation without the social distancing that we all know is so effective.”
Among the extraordinary measures being introduced are:
- Testing all members of staff every two days
- A bespoke tracking app to monitor contacts between personnel
- Limiting team numbers to 100
- Hotels procured for exclusive use during Grand Prix
- Separate floors for team use
- Limited number of media and guests
- No spectators at racetracks
But Pat predicts a competitive season ahead despite the changes forced by the Covid crisis.
“The minute the guys get strapped in the cars, the minute the visors come down, there’s only one thing that matters – and that’s winning the race. In Austria everyone is going to feel different, the old habits will have to change.
“It’s going to be as exciting as ever – maybe even more exciting than ever – there’s time compression involved now – you just have to be at it all the time and I think that’s going to make for a really great season.”
The revised season is due to start in Austria on July 5th and will include 2 British Grand Prix.
Ann Watson CEO of Enginuity said: “Let’s get racing! Trust brilliant Engineers like Pat to overcome even the most enormous challenges – this is such a refreshing and inspiring sector to serve.”