Brawn warns F1 circus to avoid COVID-19 complacency

Spielberg (Austria) (AFP)


Formula One boss Ross Brawn on Sunday warned the travelling Formula One circus to avoid any complacency despite reporting zero positive results after more than 8,000 tests for coronavirus.

Speaking shortly before the weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, the second race of the season, Brawn said it was important for all involved in the F1 'bubble' to remain vigilant and obey all of the protocols.

On Friday, F1 confirmed there had been no positive results from 4,566 tests carried out during the past week.

"Touch wood, we've been OK so far, but we can't get complacent," added Brawn, F1's motorsport managing director.

"What a massive effort and compliments to everyone."

A cumulative total of 8,598 tests have been carried out in the last fortnight, all negative.

"My wife was quite concerned about me coming here," said Brawn.

"I told her that this should be the safest place for me to be and that was the objective."

Under the ruling protocol, teams are required to wear masks, maintain social distancing as much as possible and avoid inter-team contact.

The news media are not allowed in the paddock to speak to teams or drivers and everyone has to be tested every five days.

Brawn said the sport had created a 'biosphere', but warned a positive result was likely at some time.

"Motor racing is very good at logistics," he said. "It's very good at organising itself – plan A, B and C is our bread and butter. It's what we do all the time.

"The concept of the biosphere, the big bubble, is that every team is split into small bubbles - that means we will get a positive at some stage, but we hope we can control it and minimise the risk."

He added he and the sport's top management were aware F1 was the first major global sport to return to action with, for the first time in history, two back-to-back season-opening events at the same venue.

"We've had a terrific response in terms of TV coverage," he said. "Our numbers are very high, especially social media and the digital side.

"We had very strong numbers last weekend and everyone is keen to go racing as long as we can offer a safe environment for everyone to do it.

"But we must make sure that F1, as an international sport, moving around the world, does not become a sport that takes COVID into a country."