The mandatory shutdown for all Formula One teams has been extended by the FIA. The shutdown was put in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the postponement / cancellation of the first eight races of the 2020 season, the teams agreed to bring the August shutdown period forward to free up space on the calendar for rescheduled races.
A statement from the FIA stated the shutdown period – initially scheduled to last three weeks – has been extended to five weeks.
“Following unanimous approval by the Formula 1 Strategy Group, Commission and all teams, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified by e-vote the decision to extend the Formula 1 shutdown period from 21 to 35 days, to be taken in March, April and/or May, for all competitors and Power Unit manufacturers.
“Further discussions regarding this topic remain open between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams in light of the ongoing global impact of COVID-19.”
The shutdown extends to the engine manufacturers, who were previously exempt under the regulations. Mercedes’ engine facility has already been repurposed to produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients.
The Canadian Grand Prix, initially scheduled for June 14, has become the latest event to be postponed due to the pandemic. The season is now set to begin at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. Whether or not the event actually goes ahead remains to be seen.