Countries are progressively shutting down because of a worldwide emergency. All of a sudden it feels like being stuck in the plot of a dystopian novel, as interactions have to be limited and isolation becomes normality. Anti-social measures will apply to all contexts, forcing the world to slow down. Some may feel disoriented, some may feel frightened. Any source of amusement involving gatherings has to be ruled out from our routines. All the progress made to facilitate connections across the world has to be put on hold and erased for some time.
We must settle for our close surroundings for now.
This is as painful as it gets for motorsport enthusiasts to learn that travel bans and the untamably fast-paced spread of Coronavirus undermined the regular course of their beloved events. No sounds of roaring engines, no smell of fuel or burnt rubber, empty racetracks.
No one could have ever imagined that at this time of the year we would be juggling between flight and accommodation cancellations or countless event postponements. With everything being clouded in uncertainty in the light of the unprecedented situation we are facing, we have an awful lot of news to await and look forward to.
In the spirit of debunking the ‘sweet nothing’ myth of the motorsport quarantine, let me list up what is due in the next few weeks.
Brace yourselves for an upgraded version of the off-season we just survived, filling our social media timelines with throwbacks, anniversaries, polls and possibly esports events.
Moreover, more cancellations are expected regarding races scheduled in May and journalists will be there, in a state of feverish apprehension to read through the lines of each cancellation or meeting that will occur. F1’s beat-the-clock challenge to set up a completely rearranged (yet shortened) calendar has just started. Reorganizing failed races will certainly cause several headaches, as logistics will be the biggest hurdle to overcome while rescheduling overseas events.
As for the 2020 season, the plan is to work off the summer break in April, taking into account that make-up races may happen in August. Moreover, the season might stretch out to December or even be extended to 2021 and teams would obviously be required to rethink their schedules as for upgrades-related timings.
In the end what was bound to be a record-breaking calendar featuring 22 Grands Prix will eventually hold the record for being shortened, twisted and mirroring a circumstance that left the whole world dazed in a confusional state. ￼￼￼
One of the biggest queries at the moment is related to Europe’s reaction to the outbreak of Coronavirus. The future of the 2020 F1 calendar now depends on the measures that each country will apply to contain the spread of the pandemic. In the meantime, an empowering and heartwarming reaction has swiftly gone viral all over the internet.
I am talking about Italy’s response to the lockdown imposed by the Government. It is impossible not to have come across footage of entire neighborhoods singing along from their balconies, launching an important message of resilience and hope.
I want to extend this to the closely-knit and extraordinary motorsport community. Our time to make autodromes crowded, loud and vibrant places again will come. Racing will light up our lives again. Humanity needs a little break to function better and more efficiently as a whole in the near future. Wherever you are, stay strong. It will pay off.