F1 has come a long way at a speed that defies the pandemic. Formula 1 appears to be in a hurry to return to racing circuits starting with Austria in July even as the coronavirus spreads rapidly across continents infecting more than six million people and killing 380,000 at last count.
The health of drivers and teams is a concern but the racing show must ‘stream’ on. There are fears of a second wave of infections but the handle-bar mustachioed big chief of F1 racing wants to stay ahead of the sporting pack and has crunched the calendar for revenue and profits. It doesn’t matter if spectators make it to the tracks or not as TV rights, advertisements, and endorsements have been distributed to the highest bidder, which will ensure the financial viability of F1 during a tumultuous year.
The real excitement can be delayed, it can wait for another day, or a year. Celebrations on the track and in the grid can be put on hold as this chase is for cash, and Formula 1 bosses are making no bones about their priorities. And true to his name, Chase Carey, the plain-speaking boss of the sport has scarce room for stragglers and is disinclined to take no for an answer.
The silence will be spectacular during this year’s remote racing that could both be a trend-setter for some and dampener for true fans. Countries hosting the races are supportive of F1’s decision. They will be racing to set up Covid-19 testing facilities for teams and drivers. Reports said teams will operate in ‘bubbles’ with social distancing in place. Nice manoeuvre. F1 has come a long way at a speed that defies the pandemic.