Alexander Wurz does not want to decide when the Formula One season, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, could finally begin. However, the former Grand Prix pilot believes that motor sports could be “one of the first sports allowed by various governments to take place again in a semi-normal setting.
In an interview with”ORF Sport+”Wurz explains that he initially expects”perhaps still with ghost races, without an audience. Unlike football or other team sports, players do not come into direct contact with each other. And this does not only apply to the athletes themselves.
“Everyone has gloves, helmets on,” says Wurz. “The athletes have gloves on.” Even the mechanics at the pit stop. He concludes t hat formula 1, properly managed, could drive earlier than many fear: “I think motor sports could be one of the first sports that can take place again.”
He calls on the Formula One teams to take sensible action, such as “issuing health passports for each participant”, “medical certificates” and coronavirus tests “on arrival and departure”. In addition, everyone in the paddock would have to disclose their whereabouts without gaps, as well as athletes “at the doping control”.
Events only with “completely minimized” number of people
Root also proposes to make a smartphone app mandatory, documents contacts between individuals and informs all possible interested parties if someone is tested positively.” This is a challenge in terms of data protection law, but it is not impossible in the case of the voluntary nature of a division such as formula 1 and its participants. In Austria, the Red Cross has already developed an app like this. Everyone can download “Stop Corona”, but is not obliged to do so.
If it starts again with formula 1, it reminds root, but two basic conditions must be met. Firstly, the health systems in the countries concerned (“I bow my hat to anyone who helps here”) must no longer burst from all sides. Second, the first events are conceivable only “with a completely minimized number of people.”
“We certainly have weeks and months”
Root says: As long as the hospitals are overloaded and do not have the capacity to take care of possible casualties in addition to the COVID-19 patients, a start of formula 1 is not conceivable. No one “who really needs urgent help” should be endangered because of a sporting event.
Only when the health systems have spare capacities can we do this. We certainly still have weeks and months to wait,”believes Root.”We’ll have to wait. The virus has prepared itself from the east to the west. It may also recover differently. But I assume we still have a lot of time in which the sport is on hold.”