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New 2020 F1 podium procedure debuts in F3

New 2020 F1 podium procedure debuts in F3

F1 News

New 2020 F1 podium procedure debuts in F3

New 2020 F1 podium procedure debuts in F3

The season-opening Formula 3 race demonstrated what Formula 1 fans can expect to see from the new-look podium ceremony.

Ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, the FIA had released a document of Covid-safe working practices, which included details on how to safely host the top three on the podium.

However, with the traditional podium and driver waiting room proving impossible to correctly social distance, the look and feel of the ceremonial procedure had remained unknown.

Prema driver Oscar Piastri took victory from team-mate Logan Sargeant and Campos driver Alexander Peroni.

The three pulled into parc fermé as usual but the usual hoards of mechanics were nowhere to be seen. With social distancing in place, images of drivers leaping into the arms to the team will not be seen in 2020.

After being weighed, drivers moved into the garage directly beside parc fermé, where three tables - clearly labelled one, two and three - were laid out.

Hats, towels, water and all the usual items awaited the leading trio, so while distanced, there was a certain level of normality.

'Normal' is also an apt way to describe the following podium ceremony itself.

Although the steps of the podium were spread out to obey the two-metre distancing rules, the anthems played, the trophies were handed out, and the champagne sprayed.

Somewhat amusingly, Peroni did find one problem in that the face masks, which were worn by every member of personnel involved in the ceremony, prevented him from taking a glug of champagne.

Ahead of the weekend, questions had been raised as to who the ceremonies were for and if there was any point to them without fans being present.

Granted, there was a different feel to the procedure without the usual air horns, cheering and, especially for teams, the immediate outpouring of emotion with the driver, but, for the most part, it worked.

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