The idea is on Downing street’s table: a two-weeks confinement period for those arriving in the Country from other Nations.
As it may sound a reasonable plan to contain the virus outbreak, this proposal, now being discussed by the English parliament, could have nasty repercussions on Formula 1: just two categories of people, diplomats and truck drivers, will be allowed to by-pass the restriction. Sport personnel doesn’t show up on the list and it could be a problem for F1.
On a “local” scale, the British Grand Prix is once again at risk, with three out of ten teams –Ferrari, Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo- based out of the United Kingdom, as well as critical suppliers such as Pirelli and Dallara. On this list the whole paddock (drivers included) would appear as well, since there would be no time for the quarantine between the austrian and british legs.
If this wasn’t dramatic enough for the sport, the wider picture results catastrophic: every UK based employer wouldn’t be able to get back home even in a normal-scheduled calendar, let alone with such a tight one, for the whole season.
Silverstone’s boss Stuart Pringle talked about the problem to Sky F1: “It is about overseas teams coming to the UK, but it’s also about the UK teams going back and forth from their home bases,” he stated. “Yes, it’s going to be considerably easier for 70% of the teams to get to this race over other races, but there are still 30% who are not based in ‘motor sport valley’ here in Northamptonshire. There needs to be a holistic solution that works for the thing as a whole. I know there’s a huge amount of work going into that, I know there’s a lot of desire on everybody’s part to find a workable solution, and there is a little bit of time still. I have high hopes that those solutions will be found.”
This second problem would be massive but solvable with some sacrifices by every member of the Circus, but the Silverstone GP cancellation may be uninevitable. And Hockenheim seems to be waiting just behind the corner, waiting to replace the English circuit.
"A four-time world champion meets me once in passing and notes that I didn’t have tickets, remembers my name, goes out of his way to find me some and hand writes the note. He’s a class act and I’ll never forget it."#F1 @ScuderiaFerrari pic.twitter.com/V4EZDSuUtE— Formula 1 (@F1) May 19, 2020