Formula 1 managing director of motorsport, Ross Brawn, has admitted drivers could miss practice sessions and even qualifying under new coronavirus measures.
The sport will impose strict controls on team personnel which will see them operating in isolation, with teams unable to mix with rivals and separate crews assigned to each car.
As part of the new measures, personnel will be tested for coronavirus every two days and if a member of a group tests positive, Brawn confirmed the entire group would be quarantined until they have all been tested, which could include a driver.
“If somebody comes down with the symptoms, you’d have to deal with it straight away,” Brawn told Sky Sports. “We would have to isolate that group until they could all be tested.
“If we do get a positive case then we can isolate that case and people who have been in contact with that person very quickly.”
Crews will be appointed to each car and will be encouraged not to mix, which means should one side of the garage test positive, it’s hoped the other side will be somewhat shielded, which Brawn hopes will limit the virus spreading throughout a team.
“There is no reason why that group of mechanics will necessarily be part of another family of mechanics working on the other car. We would have to isolate that group until we could be sure the virus hadn’t spread but the rest of the team could still function.”
Asked if that could mean a driver is forced to miss a session, Brawn replied: “Yes it would,” though he doesn’t foresee them missing a race unless they themselves test positive, because under parc ferme rules, the cars cannot be worked on by mechanics after qualifying.
Meanwhile it’s already been confirmed that a group testing positive and even a team pulling out won’t result in a race being cancelled.