Mercedes task force plotting Formula 1 team's return
Mercedes has deployed a task force designed to assist the Formula 1 team's return to work at its factories in Brackley and Brixworth.
With the FIA-enforced 63-day shutdown for all teams coming to an end, there remains the difficult process of having procedures in place to ensure all staff are protected due to the ongoing threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For Mercedes, that means safeguarding its 1,200-strong workforce across two sites - the team plant in Brackley, and Mercedes HPP in Brixworth.
Explaining the practices being put in place, speaking in a Pure Pitwall interview, COO Rob Thomas said: "These are extraordinary times, and we all want to get back racing as soon as we can, we all miss it.
"But above all else, it needs to be safe. We need to make sure our people are safe.
"For the last 10 weeks, if not longer, we've had a task force running, looking at how we manage this, meeting a number of times per week.
"Our focus now is on the return to work because we hope, in the week after this, we'll be back in the factory and working towards a race - hopefully - in July."
With the team due to return to work in the second week of June, Thomas added: "There are lots of things happening at the factory at the moment.
"We've got people in doing risk assessments in all areas, we're marking up all across the site the two-metre distancing everywhere, we're doing one-way systems, looking at the usage of masks, temperature scanning, all these things.
"In about 10 days from now, we should have the factory in a really good condition, but we'll make sure, as we get back to work, we'll do it in a controlled way.
"We'll make sure that not just anybody piles back in. If people can work from home, they'll continue to work from home.
"But the guys who can't, who are mainly in the manufacturing sorts of areas, then we'll make sure they are protected and looked after because we do want to get on with it, but actually there's a way to do it and we'll make sure we do it properly."
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