Limited staff presence in the F1 paddock and a need to simplify logistics has forced teams to replace their luxurious motorhomes with tents and awnings this season.

Formula 1’s efforts to build a closed and safe environment to shelter itself from the coronavirus pandemic will lead to a very different looking paddock this summer, starting next week in Austria.

To mitigate the risk of a presence of COVID-19 in the paddock, teams will follow general protocols imposed by the FIA and their own internal procedures, and operate in bubbles segregated from each other.

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However, with team personnel on race weekends limited to 80 individuals, it has been decided to replace F1’s lavish hospitality structures that require significant staff to build with tents in awnings that will be located directly at the exit of each team’s garage.

This means that team trucks will no longer be parked adjacent to pit garages but further away in the paddock.

Teams will serve as hospitality units but also as a comfort, isolation and physical distancing zone for staff.

Karl Fanson, head of race team logistics at Mercedes, offered some insight on how the German outfit will tackle the new measures.

“It won’t be the same setup as a normal European race because we won’t have any motorhomes,” said Fanson.

“In agreement with F1, what we’ve managed to do is we’re going to move the race trucks further away from the garages, and we’ll be supplying our own tents and awnings.

“This will] give us more working space within the garage. It’s easier to social distance and work comfortably.”

Fanson also explained how teams will be dealing with the reception of outside supplies, such as fuel and tyres.

“Normally we would have our fuel delivered to the garage and then we would send people to Pirelli to collect the tyres,” he said.

“Now, there will be drop off point and collection point for the fuel, and also the tyres will be taken to a drop off point. Our lads will go to the collection point and collect the tyres, and then vice versa.

“Once we’re finished with the tyres we’ll take them back, and Pirelli will pick them up once we’re clear of the area.”

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