Coronavirus: F1 preparing for ‘new norm’ with race changes, says Brawn

The global health crisis prevented this year’s campaign from starting as planned in March, with the opening race in Australia called off at short notice after a member of the McLaren garage tested positive for COVID-19.

A new calendar was confirmed at the start of June including eight events between July 5 and September 6, while there remains hope of adding more dates to the schedule.

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Grand Prix events will look different, however, as revealed by F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.

“Because of the implementation of the procedures, we need to be safe and sure of the COVID-19 situation,” Brawn said, according to quotes on the official F1 website.

“The very packed grid that was a feature of F1 racing just can’t happen.

“Every aspect from the time teams arrive to the time they leave has been thought through and it’s not completely finalised, but we’re working with the FIA to polish it.”

Post-race alterations will see no podium celebrations, though Brawn said the plan is for some sort of celebration to take place.

“The podium procedure can’t happen [as it does now], but we’re looking at doing something on the grid after the race,” he added.

“One option would be to line the cars up on the track and the drivers will stand in front of cars.

“We can’t present the trophies, as you can’t have someone in close proximity presenting a trophy, but we have worked it out, we have plans and procedures, we’re looking at how we can present it on television.”

There will also be changes to what happens before the racing begins – for example, the drivers’ parade will not go ahead for safety reasons – yet Brawn is confident the product will remain “engaging and exciting” to the audience.

‚ÄúThere’s plenty of ways we can engage without compromising health and safety,” Brawn said.

“I’m 100 per cent confident that we will make it an engaging and exciting product, it will just be different.

“This is the new norm. How long will this carry on? We don’t know, but this will be the new norm for the rest of the year for sure.”

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