Podium ceremonies will be altered in 2020 as Formula 1 maintains social distancing and strong hygiene regulations throughout race weekends amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Before 2020, the top three drivers and a representative of the winning team would take to the podium, where they would be presented with trophies and spray champagne.
However due to the close proximity that all involved are subject to, such celebrations will not be possible in the opening races of the 2020 campaign.
Speaking to Formula1.com, F1 managing director Ross Brawn says the sport is working on a plan that will likely see the top three drivers line-up on the grid after the race has ended.
“The podium procedure can’t happen [as it does now], but we’re looking at doing something on the grid after the race,” said Brawn. “One option would be to line the cars up on the track and the drivers will stand in front of cars.
“We can’t present the trophies, as you can’t have someone in close proximity presenting a trophy, but we have worked it out, we have plans and procedures, we’re looking at how we can present it on TV.”
Before the start of F1 races, drivers climb aboard a trailer on the back of a truck or luxurious cars and lap the circuit for the attending fans.
However, no fans will be present at the opening rounds in 2020, and regulations surrounding social distancing make it impossible for the drivers to be grouped together on the back of a truck.
Therefore, parade laps will be abandoned this year and F1 is planning to implement an altered build-up procedure that will still involve the drivers.
“The drivers' parade won’t happen as we can’t put 20 drivers on the back of a truck and take it round the track, so instead we will interview with each one of them in front of the garage,” Brawn stated.
“There’s plenty of ways we can engage without compromising health and safety. I’m 100% confident that we will make it an engaging and exciting product, it will just be different.
“This is the new norm. How long will this carry on? We don’t know, but this will be the new norm for the rest of the year for sure.”
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