Time for Formula One to ease COVID-19 protocols, says Brown

LONDON – Formula One is considering easing some of its strict COVID-19 ‘bubble’ protocols, in force since last year, so teams can entertain sponsors and guests more freely at races.

McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown told Reuters change was overdue and the situation was discussed in Belgium last weekend.

He hoped something could be done in time for the Sept 10-12 Italian Grand Prix.

“It was a topic this weekend and (F1 chief executive) Stefano (Domenicali) and the FIA acknowledge this and suggested they are going to come back and make some further changes. I think the sport is going to react,” he said.

“Now that it’s been tabled and discussed and all the teams agree that we need to start loosening it up, I’d like to think maybe we could get something done for Monza.”

Brown, who had COVID-19 in July, suggested Formula One needed to look at what some other sports and series were doing and move in line with government policy in countries the sport visited.

“We all think this (COVID-19) is going to be here for a long time now so everyone’s starting to learn how to deal with it and live with it responsibly and I think that’s what we need to do,” he added.

“We still pretty much have almost the same protocols as when this was going on a year ago. It’s started to loosen up but I think we need to make sure we’re taking care of our corporate partners.

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