(Motorsport-Total.com) – Even though Ross Brawn is confident that Formula 1 will be able to greet spectators at the racetrack again towards the end of the European season 2020, the head of sports also emphasizes that he does not want to make a hasty decision on this point. “We will not rush that,” said Brawn this Tuesday.
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In a speech at the FIA e-sports conference, the 65-year-old underpinned: “I think that some of the later European races are optimistic (to be able to open to viewers). But I think that we shouldn’t plan that. ” The risk of having to revise this decision was too great.
Due to the corona pandemic, Formula 1 had to cancel or postpone the first ten races of the year. It is now clear that the 2020 season will begin with a double header in Austria on July 5th and 12th. The first eight races – all in Europe – are “closed events”.
Brawn: “Safe and secure environment is critical”
Fans are not allowed on the track, the presence of Formula 1 personnel has been significantly reduced. This is to reduce the risk of potential infection. “It is crucial to run the races in a safe and secure environment,” Brawn emphasizes the importance of the strict measures.
“We travel around the world, we cannot have a problem in one country that prevents us from traveling to other countries. We will be slow to advance on this front.” As much as one would like to see fans on the track because they contribute to the atmosphere, their presence in the current situation should be particularly questioned.
That is why Brawn says: “We will take it very slowly. We do not want to take this step and then have to take it backwards because there is a problem.” Only with the start of the overseas races can one begin to hope for fans on the track again. “But even that is not absolutely guaranteed.”
Closed races are not ideal, but better than nothing
The top class is planning to host a total of 15 to 18 races in 2020, with only the first eight officially confirmed so far. The ability to hold races behind closed doors proved to be crucial to being able to start the season at all, the Formula 1 sports director knows.
“The situation is different around the world. I think the fact that we were ready to accept closed races in the early stages of the season gave us more options,” said Brawn. “It’s not ideal, no matter what sport, because the fans are such a crucial part of it.”
But from his point of view, it was more desirable to race and broadcast in order to reach the fans than to do nothing at all. The Briton now hopes to be able to fix the second half of the season soon: “We are confident that we will finish in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. We will fill the gaps in between.”