The fate of the Istanbul race, scheduled for June 11-13, is on hold after the British government put Turkey on the list of red zone countries that require returnees to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine on their return to Great Britain.
As it’s unclear whether or not F1 staff could get an exemption from the hotel quarantine requirement, the problem could prove to be enough for the event not to unfold.
If the British government had told F1 that there are no exemptions then the only way forward would be for the British teams not to return home after the race in Turkey and to stay in Europe.
They would then go directly to the French GP on June 25 and 27, followed by the Austrian GP a week later.
However, such a trip would likely result in staff being removed from the home and factories for four to six weeks – something Steiner doesn’t think can be expected.
Asked about the prospect of keeping the current schedule but having staff stay on the road, Steiner said: “Anything is possible, but there is a limit to what you can ask people to do.
“We have to be respectful because people don’t go home for six weeks. I think it is not fair.
“I mean it’s good to work, but at some point it’s not that the rest of the schedule is easy. Last year was already difficult and this year, at the end of the year, it will be difficult if we have all the races, which we hope to do.
“But we don’t have to do too much, and I don’t think that’s an option, that we just keep going for the next two months and then go home.”
Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21, in the pits
Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
F1 said during the Spanish GP weekend that it was assessing the situation surrounding the Turkish GP before deciding what its next steps were.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has said his team is confident F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali will make the right choice in the end.
“It’s clearly not very pleasant to be quarantined for two weeks in a hotel, all over the world,” he said.
“So Stefano is going to see how to organize himself. And it is only when we have a clearer picture that we can then decide who stays on the road and who comes home. “