The Dutch government has decided that all team members must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to race in early September. A similar request has been made by the Saudi government in the past, but the forces will have three months less time to fulfill the requirement.
The decision mainly affects the teams in England. In the UK it’s now around the age of 30 so the early September deadline could be a problem for team members younger than that.
During the first race weekend of the year, the Bahraini government offered all participants to be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The show was used primarily by non-UK residents, Ferrari, AlphaTauri and Pirelli.
“I think that offer was generous,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said on the matter. “Everyone can decide at their own discretion, but most of them took the opportunity. The organization was great, everything went smoothly.”
Williams boss Simon Roberts agreed with his teammate: “It was a really generous offer.” “However, in Britain, even compared to some parts of Europe, there are different regulatory bodies, so we did not want to force anyone to do so. As a team, we are following UK guidelines.”
On the one hand, F1 did not take advantage of the Bahraini offer for legal reasons, and on the other hand, they feared being portrayed negatively by the press as “exceptional”. Moreover, it was not yet clear at the time whether the vaccine received in the Middle East would be valid in England.
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