Coronavirus: F1 shutdown period extended again

Formula One teams will be required to shutdown their operations for a period of 63 consecutive days, finishing in May or June.

Closed McLaren garages at the Australian Grand Prix   -  Getty Images

The mandatory shutdown period in Formula One has been extended by a further four weeks, the FIA announced on Tuesday.

With the coronavirus pandemic leading to multiple races at the start of the season being postponed, the mid-season break was brought forward to March and April and extended to three weeks rather than two.

The period teams are forced to close down their operations for was then extended by a further 14 days on April 7.

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise, the shutdown period for competitors has been increased again and now encompassed 63 consecutive days "during the months of March, April, May and/or June".

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However, the FIA stated that after 50 days teams can use "a maximum of 10 personnel to work remotely on long lead time projects" if approval is granted.

That option is also available to power unit manufacturers when 36 of the 49 days they are required to shut up shop for have passed.

The 2020 F1 season was scheduled to begin in Australia in March but it is now hoped it will start at the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

On Monday the French Grand Prix, which had been set to take place on June 28, became the 10th race to be either postponed or cancelled.

It has also been confirmed that if the British Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone as planned on July 19 it will be behind closed doors.

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