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Events could endure 10 cases of virus, claims FIA

NEWS STORY
19/05/2020

Though the season opener was cancelled after just one case of the coronavirus, the President of the FIA Institute, Gerard Saillant believes events could now endure as many as ten cases.

The claim comes at a time sections of the media are reporting that F1 is "demanding" exemption from the UK government's planned 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in the UK, after a spokesman for the sport warned that "if all elite sport is to return to TV, then exemptions must be provided".

Making clear that the 14-day quarantine would "make it impossible to have a British Grand Prix this year", the spokesperson then called wheeled out that old chestnut of job losses – this at a time the budget cap is threatening up to two thousand jobs - adding that losing the event would have "a major impact on literally tens of thousands of jobs linked to F1 and the supply chains".

Ignoring the fact that the official F1 website has not carried the quotes, or even mentioned the story, the sport really does appear to be drawing up battle lines with the government.

The situation will hardly be helped by Saillant's claim that things have changed since Melbourne and that the sport could now endure further cases of the virus.

"The situation is quite different between Melbourne and Austria now," he told Sky Sports. "The knowledge of the virus is quite different. It is possible to prevent and to anticipate a lot of things.

"If we have one positive case, or maybe even 10, it is possible to manage perfectly with a special pathway for the positive case," he added. "Medically speaking, it is not a problem and whether it is a marshal or Hamilton, it is the same, medically speaking."

"But in terms of the sporting or media consequence it is quite different," he admits. "We have to try to anticipate that, to know where the red line is, beyond which, it is impossible to continue. But I think it is not a problem for us now."

Reflecting on Melbourne, FIA president, Jean Todt, said: "Things were moving so quickly...

"That 24 hours before the start of free practice there was no reason not to do the event," he continued. "The government was in favour of hosting the event and the organisers were also in favour; the promoter, the local motorsport federation, everybody was.

"Then, slowly, one event behind another one meant that opinion became divided. So from no problem, to some problems which became bigger and bigger and a few minutes before the start of free practice it was simply not possibly any more.

"All those who, 24 hours before, were completely in favour, changed their minds because of the acceleration of what was happening.

"It happened in other parts of the world, in other events," he continued. "One week after Australia, we were running the WRC Mexico Rally and then on Saturday, during the event, due to emotional pressure we decided to stop the rally early. The day after, in France, were the mayoral elections. On Sunday there were the elections. On Monday all was stopped.

"That's why I said It would be unfair to criticise Australia. It was just unpredictable.

"We want to make sure that arriving to the first event on the 2020 calendar, we don't face another unpredictable situation and we have experts working on that."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Stratplayer, 21/05/2020 18:17

"In my opinion Mr Saillant Is on another planet, if he thinks that all the marshalls and officials will work on circuit if the virus hits more than one person!. We’ll all be out of the circuit like an Exocet. There has still been no word regarding support races and their web sites are suspiciously blank!. It’s one thing running an F1 race but a completely thing when numerous teams arrive from all points of the compass if the exemption is allowed, I suspect that the FIA are going to slide this this under the government radar!"

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2. Posted by imejl99, 21/05/2020 9:21

"I misread the headline
Engines could endure 10 cases of virus..."

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3. Posted by Superbird70, 20/05/2020 21:56

"@mickl,
If you believe aliens developed the F1 technical specifications, then believing the rest is easy. Aren't we mostly alien DNA anyway? As was famously said in my youth, "What me worry?""

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4. Posted by mickl, 20/05/2020 20:58

"So I guess the message is "This sport is toooo important not to die for"

Maybe they should get the Ancient Aliens guy in to be in charge of this cluster buck. At least he'll have 'technologies' to combat the virus."

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5. Posted by Nick A, 20/05/2020 12:26

""If we have one positive case, or maybe even 10, it is possible to manage perfectly with a special pathway for the positive case," he added. "Medically speaking, it is not a problem and whether it is a marshal or Hamilton, it is the same, medically speaking."
So that is one or 10 potential deaths, one or 10 potential family tragedies, one or 10 families suffering hardship, one or 10 extra medical resources .
Is this crass or what ?
Perhaps Mr Saillant would like to volunteer to catch the disease and report back on his personal experience.? "

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