McLaren’s Andreas Seidl has weighed in on Formula 1’s current dilemma. With 9 races canceled or postponed and talk of closed-gate races, returning to racing sooner than later and the financial challenges that surround all of those decisions, Seidl waded into more pointed territory.
“What I think is an important point is the public acceptance of events happening again,” explained Seidl.
“I think it’s important that you only go back to go racing once we also have certainty when it comes down to protective equipment and that the number of tests for people are all in place.
“And, [that they] are available to people that actually need it, and that we are not the ones burning these tests or these materials, just for going back racing.
“I think there’s a big desire from people, from the public, from the fans, that especially in these lockdown situations we are all in at the moment, that sport events are happening again – even if it’s just on TV.
“But again, obviously, there’s a lot of different aspects that need to be considered.”
Andreas continued and as you would expect, protecting his team is paramount, as it is for Formula 1.
“As always, the most important thing is to protect our people, he said. “Definitely we can’t go back to racing until we definitely know that our people are safe. Then I think it will simply depend on the guidelines of our home countries, first of all, and then the travel guidelines.
“We need to see if that allows us to travel out and back into our home countries. We need to wait for the different countries to decide whether races should happen.
“And I think also, you need to see what the promoters are deciding because, especially with the changes of dates also for a lot of races, the promoters need to be up for it and it needs to make sense from the commercial point of view also for the promoters for F1.”
Like the rest of the world’s businesses, Andreas is thinking through a recovery plan and trying to discern the timing of restarting the engine. F1 is doing the same. Most companies are.
Some of those decisions could be linked to what the end game is for any decision they make and any decision a government (federal or local) makes concerning their mandates on public gatherings or simply restarting the economy and going back to work.
If the distancing and lockdowns were intended to slow the infection rate in order to not overwhelm the healthcare system, then there are many reports that this may have already occurred in some locations due to a terrific effort on the part of folks staying and working from home.
An end goal of slowing infection rates and sparing the healthcare system the peak deluge also would suggest that after you “flatten the curve”, the intention was to then restart the economy and go back to work knowing you’ve avoided the curve. This would also recognize that you will have more infections until such time a vaccine can be developed but as you have slowed the curve, the healthcare system could accommodate this new infection rate.
If the desire was to go into lockdown until a vaccine could be developed, well that’s a completely different timeline and one that isn’t going to happen for quite a while, by most reports. If Seidl intends to not race until such time as he can be assured that there is no risk of infection, that is also a longer timeline.
How does F1 and the teams decide to go racing again and what are the end goals of not only the nations they are racing in but the goals of each team and F1 in general? Eliminate any risk meaning waiting for vaccine or waiting until the curves are flattened and then go forward?
Hat Tip: Motorsport