There will be no spectators, no sponsors or VIP
guests wandering the paddock and limited social interaction even
between team mates.
Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies reckons the biggest
challenge, for his mechanics at least, could be having to wear
face masks at all times in the heat and tight confines of the
"We have been starting to get used to it all of us now, because
itís becoming part of our normal life," the Frenchman told
reporters in a video call ahead of the July 5 opener to discuss
the 'new normal' and safety protocols.
"Here at Ferrari itís compulsory, so we wear it (the mask) at
all times in the factory... but itís one thing to wear it in the
office environment, another to wear it when it would be 40
degrees at the racetrack."
Ferrari will try to schedule regular breaks for breathing
Formula One will have three races on successive weekends to get
the season started, with two at Spielberg's Red Bull Ring before
moving on to Hungary. Others will then follow in quick
Teams are limited to 80 people each, with everyone having to
register a negative COVID-19 test less than four days before
arriving in Austria.
Testing will then be conducted every five days, rather than the
two initially mooted.
"The Formula One paddock will be a bubble," said Mekies. "But
inside... you will have an individual bubble for each team with
pretty much no or minimum interaction between a bubble or a team
"So you will not see, as we all like and as you used to see,
people from a team having a casual chat with people from another
"Inside the team bubble, which is inside the F1 bubble, we will
also do more bubbles," added the Frenchman.
"So you will have probably the car 16 (Charles Leclerc) bubble
and the car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) bubble and inside them probably
engineers and mechanics and so forth."
The separation means anyone who tests positive will have had
limited contact with others, with tested stand-ins ready to be
slotted in if needed.
Team members will also either spend their time at the track or
hotel, with no going out.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)
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