MARCH 18, 2022
F1 concerned about covid, inflation, Russia
It's not just the ongoing covid crisis that is endangering the 2022 Formula 1 season.
All the race promoters got together in Bahrain last week to discuss the potential impact on the sport of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has already caused the cancellation of the Sochi race.
"Yes, some countries are closer to this conflict zone than others, but no formal decisions have yet been taken apart from Russia, of course," Francois Dumontier, the Canadian GP promoter, told La Presse Canadienne.
"F1 will not deliberately go into armed conflict zones, but if all goes well there will be 23 races for the first time."
At the same time, covid cases are back on the rise across Europe and the world, with some drivers calling for F1 to allow drivers who are only mildly ill to keep racing.
"F1 and the FIA remain on the lookout for the health situation, and if they need to take action, they will," Dumontier said.
"I know that they already have a few replacement countries, which we also saw in 2020 and 2021, and each of the promoters is following the situation closely in their respective countries."
Finally, the spiralling problem of global inflation has many in Formula 1 nervous, with some team bosses calling for the budget cap to be reconsidered.
"It affects us too," said Dumontier, "in that while we have long-term contracts with our suppliers, we are experiencing what many other companies are experiencing - a labour shortage."