Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Ricciardo “really happy” with success of F1’s first Closed Event

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo praised the the safety measures put in place by F1 and the FIA at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Formula 1 became the first international motorsport series to return to action on Sunday, holding a race behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring.

Strict limits were placed on personnel numbers at the ‘Closed Event’ and 4,032 virus tests were conducted on attendees over a seven-day period. None returned positive test results.

“I certainly take my hat off to everyone who’s helped make it happen,” Ricciardo said. “Trying to figure out where the boundaries are with everything and how to maintain separation between teams and when to wear masks, when not and all this.

“It [was] kind of unchartered territory for all of us. But I’m really happy that everything went pretty smooth.”

The largest challenge for F1 management was how to deal with safety protocols such as social distancing and face masks in an effective manner. Ricciardo praised the success of the protocols which were put into effect.

“I think all weekend the testing was fine, all the Covid stuff that we had to do, everything was on time and the schedule was very tight. Again, not having previous experience, like all of us, I think they did a very good job.”

The most obvious difference during the race was the restriction on spectators. Ricciardo said he didn’t notice this difference when he was in the car.

“Obviously it’s always going to be weird, you know, not having fans and all that here. But to be honest, you know, once we got down to it, it did feel like we were back out and competing and it felt as real as it could right now. So I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

F1 will maintain safety procedures and regular testing in order to protect the F1 ‘bubble’ up until the Styrian Grand Prix this weekend.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Josh Holland
USA-based Josh joined the RaceFans team in 2018. Josh helps produce our Formula 1 race weekend coverage, assists with our social media activities and...

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  • 12 comments on “Ricciardo “really happy” with success of F1’s first Closed Event”

    1. I too glad F1 willing to take a pragmatic approach and not viewing Covid19 as some kind of apocalyptic disease.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        7th July 2020, 9:39

        Not sure who has seen “Covid19 as some kind of apocalyptic disease”, @ruliemaulana.

        The consensus seems to be that it is a pandemical highly infectious pandemic disease with a mortality rate of around 1% (based on early estimates which still seem valid), for which we don’t yet have a cure nor vaccine. Prevention measure have a huge impact on societies and economies but are necessary to contain the spread and limit additional suffering due to an overstretched healthcare system.

        1. Well put @coldfly. F1 took the measures it had to deal with it and be able to keep the circus going.

        2. @coldfly It’s all true. The problem is there was too many ‘experts’ and health institution present inaccurate yet bombastic projections that lead many other sports event cancelled for whole year.

          1. I’ll go with science and health professional opinions and not with yours thanks.

            1. I hope you understand the meaning of pragmatic is.

            2. I hope you understand the meaning of pragmatic is.

              As health officials have been much more aligned than people who shout from ‘just a flu’ (the guy you seem to admire) to ‘end of world’ (your reference at the start of this thread), it is indeed much more pragmatic to go with science and health professional opinions as @dbradock suggests.

            3. I laughed when 1200 health professional said public gathering is okay because ‘white supremacy’ is a lethal public health issue. I cringe when UK change its national approach just because one epidemiologist who never right about anything said it would killed millions without proper peer-review.

              Was the authority always right in your opinion @coldfly? Why? I already wearing mask when CDC & WHO insist it’s not helpful.

    2. I was pleasantly surprised at how the lack of crowd didn’t really detract at all. Perhaps if the race had been less eventful I’d have noticed the absence of the crowd shots (the ones where someone realises they’re on the screen and the camera tracks away just as the section of seats starts to go crazy and wave!).

      Superb race, really well done – can’t wait for part 2!

      1. Same here, @geekzilla9000.

    3. I would think it was very strange for the teams to race in an empty arena, but as someone who watched on a TV I took no notice of the lack of crowd, it was a good race.

    4. Im so happy f1 is back

    Comments are closed.