F1 moves summer shutdown as a result of COVID-19

Formula 1 has brought forward it’s summer break as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with the shutdown beginning in March.

With no racing able to take place in the current climate, F1 bosses have opted to bring the summer break forward and extend the period from 14 days to 21 days, meaning that postponed races can potentially be filled in during the summer.

The break usually takes place in August, but it will now cover March and April, and all teams must close down all car-related activity during these 21 days.

A statement released by the FIA said: “In light of the global impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus currently affecting the organisation of FIA Formula One World Championship events, the World Motor Sport Council has approved a change to the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations, moving the summer shutdown period from July and August to March and April and extending it from 14 to 21 days.

“All competitors must therefore observe a shutdown period of 21 consecutive days during the months of March and/or April.

“The change was supported unanimously by both the F1 Strategy Group and F1 Commission.”

Red Bull has already confirmed that it will close down it’s racing activities on March 27, but that some flexibility will be required due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic.

The statement from Red Bull said: “In light of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is in support of the decision taken by Formula One and the FIA to bring forward the annual shutdown from August to March / April 2020 and extend it to 21 days.

“As a Team we currently plan to shutdown on 27th March for a three week period, however due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic there may be some flexibility around these dates.

“Whilst we would all love to return to racing, the severity of this global pandemic is changing by the hour and the impact transcends our sport.
“We therefore agree with the measures being taken to reduce the risk of transmission and will support any further race postponements that are deemed necessary.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of our Team, guests, fans and the local communities we visit are our absolute priority and we are taking every possible precaution to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“As such, we will also be taking extra precautions as a Team to protect our workforce while they are in the factory by implementing special working measures, guided by the UK Government and medical professionals.”