McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is confident all Formula 1 teams will be fully prepared for an immediate return to racing and a potentially intensive but shorter season.

While all F1 races remain on hold for the next few months amid the coronavirus crisis, the sport’s bosses are assessing its options on when it can start the 2020 season and how many races it can schedule into the rest of the year.

Current predictions see F1 returning to action in August starting at either the Red Bull Ring or Silverstone, potentially hosting races behind closed doors, while F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn is also hopeful of cramming in 18 to 19 races over the remainder of the season.

Given F1 completed a full winter testing programme before the shutdown, the McLaren team principal expects all teams to be ready to race without the need for pre-event testing having been ready to go at the Australian Grand Prix before the fallout following one of its team members testing positive for COVID-19.

“I think we are all in a state with our teams that it is not a big issue even after a longer break to go back to a race track and get up and running again,” Seidl said. “We are managing to do that after the winter break with completely new cars year by year and if you see the reliability there and the operation I don’t think it is a big issue to be honest.

“We were ready to go racing in Australia. But, in the end, we have to pack our stuff again and head to the race track to have two days of preparation then we are ready to go.”

One area of concern for Seidl is the potential of multiple consecutive race weekends which would put a greater strain on both personnel and costs over a short period. The McLaren boss believes there is scope to potentially shorten race weekends or reduce testing at the start of the 2021 season to restore balance for all teams.

“That is something we have on the radar and the most important thing is to protect our people,” he explained. “I don’t see the race weekend itself as being the biggest issue, the biggest issue is the number of days we are all away from home. If we can help that by having two-day events or by skipping one test for example next year, in addition to the cost savings, I think it is definitely something that we need to look into.

“These are the discussions happening between the teams, the FIA and Formula 1 as well.”

 

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