F1 calendar is a ‘game of chess’ due to COVID-19, says Brown


Formula 1 F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 McLaren General Manager Zak Brown arrives at the circuit ahead of the REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed Grand Prix

LONDON, Aug. 9 (Reuters) – Formula 1 is expected to emerge from the August break with a clearer schedule for the rest of the season, but there are still many possible scenarios due to COVID-19 and changing circumstances, according to McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown.

The sport has forecast a record-breaking 23-race championship in 2021, with 12 more to come.

“I think once we get out of the summer break (F1 general manager) Stefano (Domenicali) will know what hand he’s received in some of these remaining territories and the schedule will be in place,” Brown said. to Reuters.

There remain uncertainties regarding the Japanese Grand Prix scheduled for October 10, which, if canceled, could also affect a race in Turkey on October 3. read more

Turkey is on the red list of British countries, which means returning travelers must spend 10 days in hotel quarantine. By going to Japan, which is on the orange list, this requirement would be avoided.

Mexico and Brazil, which are due to host races in October and November, are also on Britain’s red list. Seven of the 10 Formula 1 teams are based in England.

Brown said there was talk of having two races in Austin, Texas, but the situation was also fluid.

“I hear that, but I also hear a lot of different programming scenarios. I think the reality is that no one probably knows that for sure,” he said.

“I think it’s a bit of a chess game about what’s going on in that market and it’s on the redlist, or whatever, and there’s a domino effect. I’ve heard a variety of scenarios. “

Brown hoped the success of the Tokyo Olympics, which ended Sunday and brought together more than 50,000 people operating in a tightly controlled bubble, would boost Formula 1 racing at Suzuka.

“From what I can tell, no drama has erupted since the Olympics, so it looks to me like it would increase confidence,” Brown said.

“I think they said it would probably be a closed-door event and I think Formula 1 has shown that we as an industry are very good at traveling in and out of safe country, so I have no doubts that we, as Formula 1, can organize a safe event.

“What you don’t know is the state of play in the country itself.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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