The pandemic has made meticulous Formula 1 planning superfluous

Formula 1 sporting director Steve Nielsen has explained how the pandemic has brought detailed operational work to a halt on the series.

Prior to the onset of Covid, a Formula 1 calendar when revealed, barring isolated examples, was the last racing series of the season.

But for the 2020 and 2021 campaigns, it was expected that changes would be needed, which has indeed been the case in both seasons, with new races and an updated order often having to be determined within very tight deadlines. short.

Of course, behind the scenes, this puts a lot of pressure on the logistical side of the sport, to ensure that all required personnel and equipment can get to venues on time, as well as the task of preparing the slopes for race weekend. .

So what was once a time-granted process, in the pandemic era it has often been far from the case.

“Your planning horizons are just completely different,” Nielsen is quoted by GPF Fans.

“In Formula 1, we plan everything to the death because when you plan, you have a better chance of success, so you plan every detail, months and months in advance.

“In this environment, you can’t work like that. Your horizons are much, much shorter.

“So experience and trust in partners becomes extremely important because you don’t have time to go through all the details like you would in a normal environment.

“You have to have an opinion on something, rely on your experience, trust the advice of your specialist partners and hope that it is correct, and it was.

“It changes the way you plan because you don’t have the luxury of time.

“This season [2021] was a continuation of last season in that the pandemic kind of seeped into every aspect of what we do it seems, especially on the logistical side.

“We continue to work with ever shorter deadlines. In a normal pre-pandemic year, it would take us 12-18 months to plan an event. Sometimes this year we did it in just a few weeks because the schedule demanded it.

“It required a lot of small short-term changes, races that were originally planned, that we weren’t able to participate in.

“It was really, I guess, halfway through the year that we could be certain of finishing the schedule.

“We are optimistic that this will have less and less impact, and we can return to a more normal way of working, which would be to plan, as I said, many, many months in advance.

“But this year hasn’t been like that, and it’s been quite trying for everyone involved.”

The 2022 calendar presents a record 23 races, the season is set to kick off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20, before ending in Abu Dhabi on November 20.

A new grand prix is ​​also set to enter the fold, namely the Miami Grand Prix at the Miami International Autodrome, which is due to take place on May 8, the fifth round of the campaign.

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