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Circuits and series set for return to action as lockdown eases

by Ida Wood

Photo: Joe Portlock / FIA F2 Championship

Areas of motorsport across the world, including many circuits, are returning to action while lockdown responses to the global COVID-19 pandemic ease up.

In China the pre-season testing schedule has been relatively uninterrupted despite the country being the origin point of the novel coronavirus, as circuits have remained open longer than in other nations.

However the Chinese Formula 4 championship is set to have its start delayed by a month. It was due to begin at Ningbo this month, but is now likely to begin at the end of June.

The Formula Renault Asiacup, which may postpone its planned introduction for this year of regional Formula 3 machinery, has created an Assetto Corsa-based Esports series for competitors that starts this weekend and runs through to July, while its real-world racing is set to kick off at Thailand’s Buriram circuit in early June.

Testing has also been fairly commonplace in Scandinavian countries, although racing has been put on a considerably delay, while France has eased its lockdown measures this week and enabled circuits to be used for testing again.

In addition to the circuits, factories have also reopened in many countries – including the hard-hit Italy. Different teams have set different return dates, and those competing in the Formula 1 support paddocks expect to be back at work next month.

The July 4/5 weekend is set to mark the start of the season (behind closed doors) for Formula 2 and FIA F3 Championship at the Red Bull Ring, with additional race for each series likely to take place mid-week at the same circuit in the following week.

Routine COVID-19 testing of paddock personnel will take place, and each driver will be limited to bringing one additional person with them to the track rather than the usual rosters that can include parents, coaches, sponsors and guests.