Because the Covid-19 pandemic surged in March, Components 1 regarded set to be probably the most hardest-hit sports activities.
Not like home championships and occasions, Components 1 was once intended to race in 22 international locations this 12 months, beginning with the Australian Grand Prix in March.
But if the race in Melbourne was once canceled with two days’ understand, Chloe Targett-Adams, the game’s world director of race promotion, felt Components 1 was once “heading into the attention of a typhoon.”
Extra race cancellations adopted as world air trip slowed and international locations offered restrictions. Groups close down and waited to listen to when the season would start.
“It was once transparent to us, the game had to go back,” Targett-Adams stated. “This isn’t simply the monetary revenues that we generate from it. It’s other people’s livelihoods. There are millions of other people concerned globally within the recreation of Components 1.
“To proceed, we had to go back to racing.”
Control spent the months of lockdown figuring out the measures that might should be installed position to go back. With seven groups primarily based in England, two in Italy and one in Switzerland, a Europe-centric calendar become a possible answer, with races most commonly going down with out spectators.
“It was once an enormous problem to consider how lets go back to racing safely,” Targett-Adams stated.
The season sooner or later started in Austria in July, with strict Covid-19 trying out in position and drivers and staff confined to bubbles.
The trying out and tracing protocols were broadly praised. “The gadget turns out to paintings,” stated Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. “We appear so that you can monitor individuals who get inflamed and take the fitting precautions to ensure the virus doesn’t unfold.”
Figuring out it will race safely, Components 1 started increasing its calendar.
At a minimal, 15 races had been required to care for the traditional degree of source of revenue from tv companions, that are a a very powerful income for the game. The vast majority of the earnings is then paid out as prize cash, serving to fund the groups.
The game needed to be inventive to fill out the calendar. Tracks in Austria, England and Bahrain agreed to host two races on consecutive weekends, making sure that the Components 1 paddock may just keep protected in a single position and reduce trip.
Former venues, reminiscent of Imola, Italy, and the Nürburgring in Germany, had been added. Circuits in Europe like Mugello in Italy and Portimã in Portugal hosted grands prix for the primary time.
The brand new circuits proved widespread. “I in reality loved the brand new tracks that weren’t deliberate this standard season,” Charles Leclerc of Ferrari stated.
“This is a bit bizarre to come back to the monitor and now not see any fanatics within the grandstands, however within the scenario that we’re in, I feel they’ve finished the most efficient task conceivable. It was once nice so that you can race.”
Components 1 in the long run created a 17-race calendar throughout 12 international locations. It’s a feat few idea conceivable in spring.
“Nobody may just be expecting it in April, that lets put in combination a season of 17 races this 12 months,” stated Andreas Seidl, crew primary of McLaren.
“The best way this has been finished, in an overly protected approach, which is clearly a very powerful factor, to give protection to our other people, was once superb.”
Günther Steiner, crew primary of Haas, stated it was once wonderful that Components 1 pulled it off. “We stored the game going. It might were so much worse.”
Components 1 is hoping to have a 23-race calendar in 2021. However reflecting on 2020, Targett-Adams stated there can be a way of pleasure and reduction as soon as the checkered flag flew in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to sign the tip of the season.
“It’s going to be a large sigh of, ‘Wow, that in truth came about’, as a result of I feel we’ve been on tenterhooks at more than a few issues,” she stated.
“We had been the primary global wearing pageant to go back,” she stated. “That success is one thing we must all be vastly pleased with.”