RACE DEBRIEF

    For the first time since 1954, Monaco’s streets will not echo to the sound of F1 machinery after the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) announced the cancellation of this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

    It had earlier been announced that the race had been postponed, but the ACM have since clarified that “with great sadness” the race will be cancelled.

    The race, which this year was scheduled for 21-24 May, has been held every year since 1955, having begun in 1929. The Historic Monaco Grand Prix, which is held ahead of the F1 race, has also been cancelled.

    In a statement the ACO said: “The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the FIA F1 World Championship 2020, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams, the consequences with regards to the differing measures of confinement as taken by various governments worldwide, the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable.”

    They added that “under no circumstances will it be possible to organise these events later this year.”

    The FIA announced on Thursday that the introduction of the new 2021 rules have been deferred until 2022, with work on a revised calendar ongoing.

    Sebastian Vettel has indicated he has no plans to change his approach at the start of races based on what happened in Singapore, describing the costly crash which eliminated him from the last round as ‘part of racing’.

    The Ferrari driver lost major ground in the race for the world title at Marina Bay after clashing with team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen off the line, leaving the door open for rival Lewis Hamilton to win the Grand Prix and extend his championship lead to 28 points.

    The stewards ruled that nobody was predominantly to blame for the incident, but Verstappen pointed the finger at Vettel for squeezing him in an attempt to maintain his position.

    However, when all three drivers addressed the media ahead of this weekend’s race in Malaysia, Vettel said he was focused on looking ahead, rather than on analysing what had gone before.

    “Every start is different, and the way Singapore happened you can look at it again and again; it doesn’t matter. First of all it’s done, and second I think it was pretty unfortunate for all three of us so we want to move on.

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    This weekend’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled. The news follows McLaren’s withdrawal from the race on Thursday, after one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus.

    A statement issued jointly by F1, governing body the FIA and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation read: "Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead.

    "Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix are cancelled.

    "We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course.

    "All parties took into consideration the huge efforts of the AGPC, Motorsport Australia, staff and volunteers to stage the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, however concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition take priority."

    Since 1981,[67] Formula One teams have been required to build the chassis in which they compete, and consequently the terms "team" and "constructor" became more or less interchangeable. This requirement distinguishes the sport from series such as the IndyCar Series which allows teams to purchase chassis, and "spec series" such as GP2, which require all cars be kept to an identical specification. It also effectively prohibits privateers, which were common even in Formula One well into the 1970s.

    The sport's debut season, 1950, saw eighteen teams compete, but due to high costs many dropped out quickly. In fact, such was the scarcity of competitive cars for much of the first decade of Formula One that Formula Two cars were admitted to fill the grids. Ferrari is the oldest Formula One team, the only still-active team which competed in 1950.

    This role involves generally managing the logistics of each F1 Grand Prix, inspecting cars in parc fermé before a race, enforcing FIA rules and controlling the lights which start each race. As the head of the race officials, the race director also plays a large role in sorting disputes amongst teams and drivers. Penalties, such as drive-through penalties (and stop-and-go penalties), demotions on a pre-race start grid, race disqualifications, and fines can all be handed out should parties break regulations. Up to 2019, the race director in Formula One was Charlie Whiting, who died in March 2019.[60]

    The Formula One series originated with the European Championship of Grand Prix motor racing (q.v. for pre-1947 history) of the 1920s and 1930s. The formula is a set of rules that all participants' cars must meet. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, with the first non-championship races being held that year. The first Formula 1 race was the Turin Grand Prix. A number of Grand Prix racing organisations had laid out rules for a world championship before the war, but due to the suspension of racing during the conflict, the World Drivers' Championship was not formalised until 1947. The first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958. National championships existed in South Africa and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for many years, but due to the increasing cost of competition, the last of these occurred in 1983.[10] On 26 November 2017, Formula One unveiled its new logo, following the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. The new logo replaced F1's iconic 'flying one', which had been the sport's trademark since 1993.[11]