Brawn: The podium procedure can’t happen

2019 Italian GP podium

Formula 1’s podium ceremony has been removed as part of the sport’s new approach during the COVID-19 pandemic, managing director Ross Brawn said on Friday.

The pre-race drivers’ parade will also be scrapped, but the fans won’t be there anyway, and there will be no standing together for the national anthem or trophies handed over directly by local dignitaries.

“The practices we have had in the past just can’t be done,” Formula One’s motorsport managing director Ross Brawn told the official F1 website on Friday.

“The podium procedure can’t happen, but we’re looking at doing something on the grid after the race. 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.”

The delayed season is due to start in Austria on July 5 behind closed doors.

The sport has yet to publish a full calendar but said on Friday — when the cancellation of races in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan was announced — that it hoped to put on 15-18 races.

Teams will be kept separate from each other in ‘bubbles’ at the circuits, staying in isolation and with no contact with the surrounding community.

“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,” said Brawn.

“Instead we will interview each one of them in front of the garage. There’s plenty of ways we can engage without compromising health and safety.

“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.”