In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Formula 1 has had to adopt a raft of brand new hygiene protocols to ensure the safety of drivers and team staff in their bid to go racing this season. 

The FIA have also released a 74-page guideline of measures applicable to not only core F1 staff, but track marshalls, circuit officials and more - emphasising that a safe and healthy restart is absolutely critical. 

Formula 1 has outlined five specific measures that the sport will be undertaking in conjunction with the respective authorities and promoters. 

Regular Testing 

Using private testing, any team members and staff attending a race will be tested for Covid-19 prior to travelling, and must produce a negative result to be allowed to attend. 

Additional testing will be required every two days while at events alongside extra screening. 

Closed Events

The opening 8 races are not expected to be open to any spectators, guests or partners, limiting the paddock and circuit to only essential personnel. 

Minimal Personnel 

There will be a significantly smaller presence in the personnel travelling to each race across the board for teams, the FIA, suppliers and F1. 

These personnel will be required to isolate in their respective team “bubbles” and to not mix or interact with others. 

Isolated Travel 

Staff who have a Covid-19 negative test certificate will also travel in an isolated manner, with the use of charter flights where possible and private transfers between circuit venues, hotels and airports. They will be required to travel in a restricted ‘bubble’ to defeat any chance of a wider interaction with any non-tested members of the public. 

Social Distancing

Social distancing protocols will be put in place at the venue and enforced throughout the paddock and circuit at each event 

There will be alterations to pre and post-race activities including but not limited to the national anthem, parc ferme, podiums and the cool down rooms, which will all be altered to ensure safe distances can be withstood as well as media obligations and interviews.

Mercedes were the first team to experience F1’s new reality of hygiene protocols after fulfilling a two-day private test session at Silverstone with both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton

The private test has enabled Mercedes to conduct a real-world test of the new health and safety procedures F1 teams will have to observe while operating their cars once the season gets underway behind closed doors next month. 

As shown in the video above, Mercedes personnel are seen adhering to the social distancing guidelines where possible and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and face masks. 

One prominent example of the new measures the teams are having to take is the usage of face-shield masks in addition to plastic gloves and masks for anyone engineers that have to be in close proximity to drivers, as shown with the engineer strapping the drivers into the car.

Formula 1 has rapidly evolved over the years, but could this be one of the biggest changes the sport has ever had to contend with? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to Crash for more motorsport content. 

 

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