Formula 1 is struggling with its calendars due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in several countries. It’s far harder this year than last year due to the constantly changing rules and paperwork involved in moving the F1 circus from country to country.
“We thought this year would be tough at the start of the season and then get easier as the situation improved,” said F1 sporting director Steve Nielsen, “but the reality is that it’s getting harder and harder.”
This is due to the different variants, which means that countries protect their borders from foreign visitors. Most ran now and are run only thanks to exceptions from the government.
The only place where the restrictions are more limited is the United States, where things return to normal faster than elsewhere, even though deaths still run at more than 500 a day. In Australia, for example, the entire state of Victoria (where Melbourne is located) was locked last week due to 60 cases. You can all overreact if you want, but Australia’s total deaths in the last 15 months have been only 910 people.
However, that means the rescheduled Australian Grand Prix and several other races are unlikely to happen. Singapore has just been canceled and F1 is worried about Brazil and Japan. And there are also questions about Mexico. There are races in China and Turkey waiting in the wings to step in if holes appear, but it still won’t get the sport to 23 races.
In Baku, there were rumors that we might see two races this year in the US as a result of the ongoing problems. One suggestion is that F1 could go to Indianapolis and use the roadway, while another idea is to have two races back-to-back in Austin.
Stefano Domenicali would not confirm or deny the stories.
“We’ll see what happens,” he says. “Things change all the time.”
The appetite to go to Indy is not great in F1 circles. It’s not a destination city like Miami or Las Vegas, but if there’s a chance to have a race and there’s money to pay for it – there are no free races this year – then F1 will definitely look into it. that .
The sport is eager to embrace those who have had their interest in F1 triggered by the Netflix series “F1 Drive to Survive” and want to know more about F1. This new interest is seen in F1 viewing figures in the US, which are rising.
It could be that the best answer is back-to-back races in Austin …