F1 calendar a ‘chess game’ because of COVID-19, says Brown

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 McLaren chief executive Zak Brown arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

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LONDON, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Formula 1 is set to emerge from the August break with a clearer schedule for the rest of the season, but there are still many possible scenarios due to COVID-19 and changing circumstances, according to McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown. .

The sport has planned a championship-record 23 races in 2021, with 12 still to come.

“I think once we come out of the summer break (F1 chief executive) Stefano (Domenicali) will know what hand he has been dealt with in some of these remaining territories and the timetable will be put in place,” he said. Brown told Reuters.

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There remains uncertainty over the Japanese Grand Prix scheduled for October 10, which, if cancelled, could also affect a race in Turkey on October 3. read more

Turkey is on the British Red List, which means returning travelers must spend 10 days in hotel quarantine. By switching to Japan, which is on the orange list, this requirement would be avoided.

Mexico and Brazil, which will host races in October and November, are also on Britain’s red list. Seven of the 10 Formula 1 teams are based in England.

Brown said there was talk of holding two races in Austin, Texas, but the situation was also fluid.

“I hear that, but I also hear a lot of different planning scenarios. I think the reality is that probably no one knows for sure,” he said.

“I think it’s a bit of a chess game of what happens in this market and it goes redlisted, or what have you, and there’s a domino effect. I’ve heard a variety scenarios.”

Brown hoped the success of the Tokyo Olympics, which ended on Sunday and featured more than 50,000 people operating in a tightly controlled bubble, would boost Formula One racing at Suzuka.

“From what I can tell, there was no drama after the Olympics, so I think that would boost confidence,” Brown said.

“I think they said it would probably be a behind closed doors event and I think Formula 1 has shown that we as an industry are very good at traveling in and out of country safely, so I am confident that we as Formula 1 can deliver a safe event.

“What you don’t know is the state of play in the country itself.”

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Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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