Formula 1 has revealed that cancelling the 2020 season was not an option in order to safeguard the thousands of jobs involved in the industry.
At one stage, as race after race was either cancelled or postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it appeared as if F1 would have to take the nuclear option of abandoning the campaign in its entirety.
But as each country has dealt with the disease with its own lockdown measures, and following detailed talks with governments, the teams and the drivers, a way forward has been found to start the year with eight races in 10 weeks across Europe.
Explaining its reasoning for not cancelling this season, via the F1 website, it is stated that: "F1, the FIA and the teams believe that if it’s possible to return to racing safely then they should.
"There are thousands of jobs directly and indirectly linked to Formula 1 globally, and they believe it is important to support those livelihoods if they can.
"A cancellation of the season would also put huge pressures on the teams, and F1 wants to ensure they are able to operate."
Rebutting criticism it is too soon for F1 to start again, F1 claim: "While the global situation is fluid, F1 are confident their plans to restart in Europe in July are the right ones.
"They will not take any risks and we have the best safety, testing, travel and logistics plans and procedures in place to allow us to operate safely.
"Millions of people, including governments, around the world are keen to see live TV sport return as it will be a boost to morale amongst fans and society. F1 believes the season can be re-started safely alongside other sports."
The sport has also confirmed there are "contingencies in place" should the situation change in a particular country and it is unable to stage an event, with "other venues willing to host" should there be a need.
It is known, for example, that Hockenheim is willing to step in should any of the European races as planned fall by the wayside.
At this stage, should a confirmed case of Covid-19 materialise, F1 insists it will have protocols in place to deal with the situation, and there will not be any need to cancel a race, as occurred in Australia at the start of the season.
"F1 has learnt a lot since Australia and procedures and safeguards are now in place to reduce the chances of anyone infected travelling to a race.
"New procedures, such as pre-testing, regular testing, screening, sealed travel and social distancing will make this a less likely scenario and F1 are confident their plans will manage this risk. However, there is a robust infection response plan in place, if required, like many other returning sports competitions.
"In the event of a positive case F1 are fully confident that the procedures and team segregation will allow swift and effective contact tracing across a small group and rapid testing will be provided to determine the risk of infection and isolate it immediately."
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