FIA President Jean Todt has warned that motorsport categories, including Formula 1, must brace for further disruption due to Covid-19 into the 2021 season.
Championships had to undertake widespread changes to schedules in the wake of the pandemic, with half of the Formula 1 events cancelled, and some new/returning events drafted into the calendar.
Some blue riband events, such as the Monaco Grand Prix, were cancelled while others, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, were postponed to later in the year.
Most of the events that took place through 2020 took place without spectators, or with limited attendance, owing to restrictions on public gatherings, while those working had to take precautions, such as wearing masks, observing social distancing, and taking regular tests for Covid-19.
More normal calendars in the FIA’s main series – such as Formula 1, WEC and WRC – have been planned but Todt has warned that cancellations and postponements must be expected.
February’s Rally Sweden is the highest-profile FIA-sanctioned 2021 event to be cancelled so far.
“I feel that 2020 was a great season, with a lot of creativity,” said Todt, addressing the media ahead of the FIA’s annual Prize Giving ceremony, which this place is a virtual event.
“Who could have guessed one year ago, when we met in Paris, that we would have three grands prix in Italy, back-to-back [events] on the same circuit in Austria, at Silverstone, an original [circuit] in Bahrain, a grand prix in Turkey, so that is really a credit to Formula 1.
“And on that I want also to highlight the role which was played by Chase Carey and his leadership, of Formula 1, working with FIA, when you see what has been achieved to limit the people [who are] victims of Covid-19 in motor-racing.
“But, unfortunately, it is not over, it is not like the season is ending and we start from a white piece of paper, because lockdown is still going to happen, confinement, the virus is there.
“There has been progress, we are expecting a vaccine, so it will be good for the population and good for the planet to be able to enjoy that.
“But I am sure that over the next days we will hear quite a lot of potential changes on the different calendars, not only Formula 1, but on other calendars.
“If I had to commit on ‘back to kind of normal’, even if I feel it will be a different life behind the Covid-19 crisis, I think half of next year, in my opinion, will not be as we could have expected to have in a normal season.