Sport Alexander Wurz: Why F1 could start earlier than another sport
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Alexander Wurz does not want to "fix the time" when the delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic Formula 1 season could finally start. However, the former Grand Prix driver believes that motorsport could be "one of the first sports" that various governments have allowed to take place again in a reasonably normal range.
In an interview with 'ORF Sport +', Wurz explains that he initially expects "maybe ghost races without spectators. But motorsport is an individual sport." In contrast to football or other team sports, for example, the actors do not come into direct contact with one another. And that doesn't just apply to the athletes themselves.
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"Everyone has gloves and helmets on," says Wurz. "Even the mechanics at the pit stop. You are not really close." From this, he concludes that properly managed Formula 1 could drive earlier than many fear: "I think motorsport could be one of the first sports to be allowed to take place again."
He urges the Formula 1 teams to take sensible measures, such as "issuing health passes for each participant", "medical certificates" and coronavirus tests "on arrival and departure". In addition, everyone in the paddock must disclose their whereabouts without gaps - just like athletes "at the doping control".
Wurz also suggests making a smartphone app mandatory, documenting contacts between individuals and informing all those affected if someone tests positive. "So that the follow-up can take place in the event of a positive test," says the Austrian.
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This is a challenge under data protection law, but not impossible if a division like Formula 1 and its participants are voluntary. In Austria, the Red Cross has already developed such an app. Anyone can download "Stop Corona" but is not required to do so.
Should Formula 1 start again, Wurz warns, but two basic requirements must be met. First, the health systems in the countries concerned ("I take my hat off to everyone who helps here") must no longer burst at the seams. Second, the first events are only conceivable "with a completely minimized number of people".
Wurz explains: As long as the hospitals are overloaded and do not have the capacity to take care of any accident victims in addition to the COVID 19 patients, Formula 1 is unthinkable. Nobody "who really needs acute help" should be put at risk because of a sporting event.
Only when the health systems have free capacity, "can we do that? We certainly have weeks and months to wait," Wurz believes. "The virus has made its way from the east to the west. It may also recover differently. But I assume that we still have some time in which the sport is on hold."
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The Tour de France is postponed due to the corona pandemic for the first time since World War II. The organizer announced that the new start should be at the end of August. © JEFF PACHOUD / AFP The Tour de France is postponed for the first time since the Second World War due to the corona pandemic. The organizer announced that the new start should be at the end of August. The Tour de France has been postponed to August 29 to September 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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