Vaccines helping F1 eye ‘full season’ in 2021

(GMM) Formula 1 is hoping to race through the covid crisis by attending all 23 scheduled grands prix on the 2021 calendar.

Melbourne, China and Vietnam are not happening for now, while Imola and Portimao have stepped in at late notice. But F1’s sporting boss Ross Brawn is hoping the full current calendar can be completed.

“Last year we proved that we can deal with covid,” he said at the Bahrain test. “We’re pretty confident that we can go through the full season this year as planned.

“Of course, you never know whether adjustments will be necessary after all, but I think we have the worst of it behind us now.”

The situation is being helped by the steady vaccination of the sport’s travelling circus. Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz Jr. confirmed that they took up Bahrain’s offer to receive two full doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Carlos Sainz Jr. takes the shot. credit: © Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“For me, I don’t know when I will be able to get it back in Mexico, so I think it was very nice from Bahrain to offer that to us,” said Red Bull’s Perez.

Alpha Tauri boss Franz Tost, meanwhile, said the entire Faenza based team will get the vaccine.

“We will stay one or two days longer after the first race to get the second dose,” he revealed. “Health is the most important thing.

“I would like to thank Bahrain for this opportunity, because in Europe I don’t know how long we would have to wait, especially in Austria or Italy,” he added.

Max Verstappen was vaccinated just prior to heading to Bahrain, and he commented: “In the end, everyone has to get it.

“And because we are travelling, it’s also better for all the people we come into contact with.”

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said in Bahrain: “Our goal is to try to complete the season, even if it will be logistically difficult.”