Kurt Verlin
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Formula 1 Shutdown Extended by Another Four Weeks

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Red Bull-Honda RB15
Photo: Spencer Davis via Unsplash

The World Motor Sport Council has ratified another extension to the Formula 1 shutdown period, extending it by four weeks.

F1 teams are normally forbidden to work on designs, research, development, and production related to the sport during the summer break. This is typically a two- or three-week period in August intended to give mechanics and engineers time to spend with family and friends.

However, shortly after the Australian Grand Prix was canceled, the FIA brought the summer shutdown period forward from August, which, earlier this month, was extended to five weeks. With the latest extension, announced yesterday, the total Formula 1 shutdown period is now taken to 63 days.

Nonetheless, the FIA said that after 50 days of the shutdown, teams will be able to use up to a maximum of 10 personnel “to work remotely on long lead time projects.” Though one imagines many of the mechanics and engineers would like to get back to the office, allowing the F1 teams to resume work (assuming it would be safe) could further accentuate the gap between the high- and low-budget teams.

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This shutdown also applies to the sport’s engine manufacturers, though they are subject to a different timeframe. Their shutdown has been extended from 35 to 49 days, and after 36 days they will also benefit from the 10-personnel exemption.

Before they put those employees to work, however, both teams and engine manufacturers will need to formally apply and receive approval from the FIA.

This news comes shortly after F1 CEO Chase Carey announced that the Austrian Grand Prix would tentatively host the first race of the 2020 season over the July 3-5 weekend. With the usual summer break out of the way, if Carey gets the 15-18 races he wants before the end of the season in November, F1 fans may be looking at the most densely packed F1 calendar in history.

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