The new FIA rules and regulations for 2022 will include mandatory vaccination for F1 staff, according to a report by The Times newspaper. The news publication stated that an FIA spokesperson had confirmed that there will be a travel requirement for all F1 staff and personnel to be fully vaccinated to attend every race, without any exceptions.
The Times newspaper reported that the FIA spokesperson said:
“Formula One management will require all travelling personnel to be fully vaccinated and will not request exemptions.”
According to the report, the rule has been approved by the FIA and WMSC to ensure the safety of people working in the sport and avoid an outbreak of any new variants in the paddock. The rules will also apply to celebrities, VVIPS and guests attending races and there will be no exemptions for people who have recovered from the novel virus either.
Another BBC report stated the same and said:
“The move will mean no-one will be able to work within the paddock – F1’s inner sanctum where the teams operate – without being fully vaccinated.The policy will apply to all personnel working within F1, including drivers, teams, media, hospitality workers and any guests who attend the races.”
Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open controversy has led the traveling Formula 1 circus to implement rules to counter any anti-vaccine campaigns. The sport endorsed its own vaccination drive during the season finale in 2021 where all drivers contributed to creating awareness about vaccinating against the virus.
So far the sport has succeeded in executing two successful seasons amidst the pandemic with a unique bubble system and testing. Nevertheless, there has not been a serious outbreak within the paddock so far apart from the initial cases within the McLaren team in Australia in 2020.
Drivers to have contracted the virus since the wake of the pandemic include Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll, Kimi Raikkonen, Nikita Mazepin, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly. It is understood all drivers were vaccinated, according to the Times report. With the Omicron variant of the virus wrecking havoc globally, the implementation of stricter rules is inevitable for the 2022 season.
Stefano Domenicali addresses F1’s vaccination policy
The sport’s CEO Stefano Domenicali addressed the vaccination policy in December, stating that the FIA and WMSC had already approved the idea of making vaccination mandatory within the paddock area. The Italian spoke to Motorsport Network in December 2021, specifying that it is a precaution that the sport will take with the ever-changing conditions of the global pandemic.
Speaking about the rules for the 2022 season, Domenicali had said:
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“It is no coincidence that one of the last things approved in the last FIA World Council, as a precaution, is to have all F1 staff vaccinated to be in the paddock.”