Formula 1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali says the sport will not attempt to take unfair precedence over others to protect its 2021 season with a wide-spread vaccination program.
As vaccination campaigns unfold around the world to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Domenicali was asked last week if F1 would fast-track vaccination for the members of its microcosm, adding another layer of protection to the biosphere it established last year.
But Domenicali said F1 would not seek priority status, considering that such a request would put at risk vulnerable individuals in urgent need of vaccination.
“This is a very important point, the most vulnerable [person] is the priority one,” Domencali said, quoted by RaceFans.net.
“On our side, we don’t want to jump the line of vaccination. For sure vaccination is very, very important and I would say I’m looking forward to be vaccinated as, I would say, everyone should be in this moment.”
When widespread availability of vaccines becomes a reality, F1 will then consult with teams to possibly arrange for a vaccination program inside the sport.
“We are for sure thinking what could be the discussion related to that,” he said. “So if that could be possible, we will for sure discuss internally about it with the teams.
“But we need to be prudent and see and respect, of course, what is the situation with all the vulnerable people.
“We don’t want to be seen as the ones that are taking away that, for sure. So a lot of respect on what the governments are saying, a lot of respect [for] what the people will do.”
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Formula 1 is scheduled to undertake a record 23 races this year. But the lingering COVID-19 crisis has already led to a few calendar tweaks, with the season-opening Australian GP pushed back towards the end of the year because of travel restrictions.
Domenicali says a 23-race undertaking will be a challenge. But the Italian is confident that F1 can enjoy a full season of racing after proving its ability last year to manage a 17-race schedule in the face of a global pandemic.
“The proof that we have given in terms of [professionalism], structure, protocols in place has been very important to manage the situation and the reason why we are totally confident that we can achieve the number of races that are on the calendar,” he said.
“Of course, it’s a challenge. But we are confident that with the relations that we have, this can really happen.
“As you can imagine we are a fluid and flexible to be ready with other possibilities,” he added.
“We have already a different plan, B, C, D, A in place ‘in case of…’. Here I’m totally transparent, the things that are fixed today can be different tomorrow.”
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