Formula One must be ready for a positive COVID-19 test despite the opening two races of the 2020 season going by without a hitch, Ross Brawn says.
Austria's Red Bull Ring hosted the opening rounds of the season under strict protocols in events shut off to spectators. Team members were required to operate in social bubbles to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and everyone in the paddock had to be tested once every four days.
F1 did not report a single positive test over the two weeks. The paddock has now traveled to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix, which will be held under similarly tight protocols.
Brawn, F1's motor racing boss, said it would be optimistic to expect another clean weekend.
"It's astonishing we have managed to get through the whole weekend, for the second successive time, with a clean bill of negative tests," he said, reflecting on Sunday's Styrian Grand Prix. "There will be positive tests, I'm sure of it. When we do get those positive tests, we have to make sure we deal with them in the correct and proper fashion to minimize the impact they have on F1.
"It's been a fantastic start. Everyone is so pleased and relieved that we have got the season going. Given the pandemic has affected countries in different ways, we have to be flexible during the next six months, but we have a reasonable program ahead of us and from the example of the first two races, we can have a fantastically exciting grand prix season."
On top of F1's guidelines, the championship is having to follow Hungary's stringent regulations for the next race. Rules dictate UK and non-European Union citizens must be confined to their hotels or at the track throughout their stay in the country or face a financial fine or imprisonment.
Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc faced criticism between the opening two races, as both traveled home to Monaco between the events.