Racing Point: No "certainty" on when F1 can return from hiatus

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says there can be no degree of certainty when Formula 1 will return to normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Racing Point: No "certainty" on when F1 can return from hiatus

The opening eight races of the 2020 F1 season have been called off as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has also prompted all 10 teams to agree on a three-week shutdown in the coming weeks.

While F1 bosses remain hopeful of a 15-18 race season starting in the summer, Racing Point chief Szafnauer conceded there was no certainty as to when the sport would return to its usual service.

"This is an unprecedented situation, one that is changing by the day," Szafnauer said.

"Right now, we simply cannot say with any degree of certainty when we'll be back to normal.

"There are so many factors that are not under our control."

The pandemic has prompted teams to agree on delaying the introduction of the new technical regulations planned for 2021 by 12 months, with the existing 2020 chassis to be used again next year - when Racing Point becomes the Aston Martin works team.

Szafnauer said that while it was a logical decision to back the move, it would not give Racing Point any reason to ease off in its push to lead the midfield battle once work resumed.

"From both a logistical and a cost perspective, this makes absolute sense. Of course, that doesn't mean we can afford to take it easy when we return to work," he said.

"When we do eventually get back on track, we need to be in a position to compete - whatever the regulations.

"There's still plenty of work ahead and we'll be ready to tackle it when the time comes."

Racing Point entered its three-week shutdown on Wednesday, meaning the team is currently scheduled to return to work on April 16. Szafnauer added the team had made arrangements to allow staff who could work from home to do so.

"We've also worked extremely hard over the last few weeks to ensure that all staff who can work from home have the equipment they need to set up home offices," he said.

"Our first concern at a time like this is the physical and mental wellbeing of our team-mates, their families and friends. We have everybody back home in the UK now and adjusting to this new reality - but it's certainly not easy for anybody.

"We're obviously disappointed not to be able to race for the foreseeable future but, ultimately, we all understand the significance of the situation.

"The challenges the world is currently facing are unlike anything I've known in my lifetime and clearly transcend the sport, so the decisions that have been made are the correct ones."

shares
comments
F1 ace Norris to shave off hair after raising $12000 in charity stream
Previous article

F1 ace Norris to shave off hair after raising $12000 in charity stream

Next article

Why the top Formula 1 drivers are so highly paid

Why the top Formula 1 drivers are so highly paid
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023