Formula 1’s managing director Ross Brawn has stressed that the championship cannot afford to become complacent about coronavirus, warning that a positive result is likely at “some stage”.

F1 personnel are facing stringing protocols to ensure that all events can take place safely in a ‘closed-door’ environment. All staff must return a negative test before travelling and are rigorously tested every five days while at races, while teams are forced to operate in bubbles to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

The sport has so far conducted over 8,000 tests on personnel, all of which have come back negative for COVID-19, though Brawn is wary about complacency creeping in.

“I think when we had the shock of Melbourne, we came back and we kind of had to recover form that but then started to think about what could we do to start racing again,” Brawn said.

“I think motor racing is very good at logistics, very good at organising… plan A, plan B, plan C is our bread and butter, that’s what we do all the time.

“With the FIA, Formula 1, promotors, with the teams, we started regular meetings to work out a plan and how we could go racing.

“The concept of the biosphere and the big bubble… that means we will get a positive at some stage but we hope then we can control it and minimise the risk.

“My wife was quite concerned about me coming here and I said this should be the safest place for me to ever be, and that was the objective.

“Touch wood we’ve been ok so far but we can’t get complacent.”

It is understood that F1 drivers and team personnel have been warned they risk imprisonment or a €15,000 fine if they break strict lockdown restrictions which are set to be imposed for next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

F1 will travel across the border to Hungary next week to complete the third race of the opening triple-header of events, before heading to the UK for a back-to-back races at Silverstone in early August that will form the start of a second triple-header which is rounded off with the Spanish Grand Prix on August 16.

“Everyone’s keen to get racing as long as we an offer a safe environment to do it,” Brawn added.

"We need to ensure that formula 1, being an international sport moving around the world, we don’t become a sport that takes COVID into a country.

“We’ve got to be someone who countries can totally rely on being a safe activity to have.”

 

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