Written by Kallum Bates, Edited by Aiden Hover
Earlier today, the UK government outlined new travel restrictions that are to be placed on countries with exceptionally high coronavirus cases. While many countries have been placed on the green list for travel; Nepal, Maldives, and, most importantly for Formula 1, Turkey have all been placed on the red list. This means that all travelers to those countries will have to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel upon their return to the UK.
These restrictions could pose a problem to those involved with Formula One as teams will travel back to their bases on the 13th of June following the Turkish GP only to enter a 10 day period of isolation before the tightly scheduled French Grand Prix two weeks later. As it stands, there simply wouldn’t be enough time for the teams to complete the 10 days of quarantine before they are required to set up their stations in Le Castellet.
So, what will the F1 authorities do in order to combat this issue? Previously, at the start of the 2020 season, the UK government exempted teams in ‘elite sports’ from the need to quarantine to allow the continuation of Formula 1, along with many other sports. Formula 1 has announced that they are ‘assessing the situation,’ which could mean a number of things. They could work with the UK government to find a way around the quarantine rule and seek exemption for elite sports once again. If the issue cannot be resolved this way then there is a chance that the race could be postponed until the situation in Turkey has improved. There would be space later in the calendar for the Turkish GP to be slotted into, with a more spaced-out calendar for the 2021 season compared to last year.
So the question remains to be answered, will the Turkish Grand Prix go ahead this year? Will it be replaced by another track in the event of this happening? Or will another exemption rule be put into place, allowing F1 teams to travel freely from Turkey without having to isolate for 10 days? Formula 1 should have a solution in place within the next few weeks in good time to prepare for the Turkish GP.