Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey says a race would not be cancelled if a driver or team member got infected with coronavirus when the rescheduled season resumes. 

On Tuesday F1 announced its plan for the heavily-delayed 2020 season to get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July, the first of eight European rounds that will be held across three months. 

A positive COVID-19 test for a member of McLaren staff led to the team pulling out of the Australian Grand Prix in March and ultimately forced the last-minute cancellation of the planned season-opener. 

But speaking to the official F1 website, Carey insisted that lessons have been learned from Melbourne and strict protocols put in place to ensure that even if a team member of driver became ill, it would not result in an event being stopped.

"An individual having been found with a positive infection will not lead to a cancellation of a race," Carey said.

"We encourage teams to have procedures in place so if an individual has to be put in quarantine, we have the ability to quarantine them at a hotel and to replace that individual.

"Some things we'd have to talk through and work through.

"The array of 'what ifs' are too wide to play out every one of them, but a team not being able to race wouldn't cancel the race.

"I don't think I could sit here and lay out the consequences.

"But we will have a procedure in place that finding infection will not lead to a cancellation. If a driver has an infection, [teams have] reserve drivers available.

"We wouldn't be going forward if we were not highly confident we have necessary procedures and expertise and capabilities to provide a safe environment and manage whatever issues arrive.”


F1 is planning to operate within a controlled ‘biosphere’ at events to ensure personnel are kept safe and isolated from the local community. The measures outlined, which include conducting tests for coronavirus every two days, have been approved by all 10 teams. 

Carey stressed a “rigorous set of guidelines” has left F1 and the FIA “prepared to appropriately deal with” an outbreak of coronavirus in the paddock.  

"Certainly the FIA deserves an enormous amount of credit in this process," he explained. 

"In many ways they've led in this process in terms of health and safety issues. We have engaged with a range of outside experts.

"There is a rigorous set of guidelines, probably at this point it's 80-90 pages, which will include everything from how do you travel there, what are the processes for being in hotels there to what are the processes that exist at the track, for meals, going to the restroom, downtime between tracks and testing processes.

"We will test before you go there, then there will be testing every two days. There are processes if we find an infection. 

“We recognise there is the possibility so we're prepared to appropriately deal with it, if we find a positive infection.

"We're working on putting in place tracking capabilities, we have two different tracking options."