F1 CEO reaffirms races won't be cancelled should coronavirus cases emerge

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Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has reaffirmed there will be no last-minute cancellation should a coronavirus case be found at an upcoming race.

On Tuesday, the eight European rounds of the revised 2020 calendar were confirmed, starting with a double-header in Austria on July 5 and 12 and ending with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 6.

To ensure F1 can proceed with its season, strict measures are being implemented such as regular testing, "bubble" isolation for teams and limits on the number of personnel permitted.

But if a positive Covid-19 person is detected, unlike Australia which was cancelled on the Friday morning, the event would go on.

"An individual having been found with a positive infection will not lead to a cancellation of a race," Carey said in a video interview on Formula1.com.

"We encourage teams to have procedures in place so if an individual has to be put in quarantine, we have the ability to quarantine them at a hotel and to replace that individual.

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"There is some things we’d have to talk through and work through. The array of ‘what ifs’ are too wide to play out every one of them, but a team not being able to race wouldn’t cancel the race.

"I don’t think I could sit here and lay out the consequences, but we will have a procedure in place that finding infection will not lead to a cancellation. If a driver has an infection, [teams have] reserve drivers available."

The F1 CEO followed up by praising the work done by the FIA to ensure the sport can return to action next month.

"Certainly, the FIA deserves an enormous amount of credit in this process," he said. "In many ways, they’ve led in this process in terms of health and safety issues. We have engaged with a range of outside experts.

"There is a rigorous set of guidelines, probably at this point it’s 80-90 pages, which will include everything from how do you travel there, what are the processes for being in hotels there to what are the processes that exist at the track, for meals, going to the restroom, downtime between tracks and testing processes.

"We will test before going there, then there will be tested every two days. There are processes if we find an infection.

"We recognize there is the possibility so we’re prepared to appropriately deal with it if we find a positive infection and we’re working on putting in place tracking capabilities, we have two different tracking options."

But despite all the measures done to limit a paddock-wide outbreak of Covid-19, in terms of the risk of spread within a team, Carey admits it does exist.

"Clearly, we recognise our sport is one which at times, we can’t have two metres between every individual on a team," he conceded.

"When a car pulls into a pit and has to change four tyres, there won’t be two metres between every individual. We need to make sure we have procedures to manage all those risks as soon as possible."