The Scuderia AlphaTauri facilities in Italy and the UK are opening up again. Here’s how our Formula 1 team is getting back to work after the shutdown was brought forward and extended. We’re aiming for a gradual return to being fully operational, while respecting the pandemic legislation, as the safety of all employees is our first priority.
We soon learned to smile with our eyes while wearing a mask and the atmosphere feels like it’s the first day of school, with everyone keen to get going again. It’s been just over two months since the decision was taken to bring forward the F1 summer shutdown because of the Covid-19 emergency. It began on 26 March and was extended twice, making it last a total of 63 days. In Faenza, it was actually a bit longer than that, because the factory was closed as of 23 March by order of the Italian government.
Last Saturday, the production departments in Faenza gradually became operational and, as from today the technical and administrative departments, the Race Team and the wind tunnel in Bicester, England also start work. Restarting safely is the main aim, by carrying out tests and procedures during and after the return to work.
As from last week, all personnel returning to work have to undergo a serology test at the factory under medical supervision. This avoids the need to do the test privately and it includes strict precautions above and beyond those usually required nationally and regionally. This is how the test is carried out:
- Test carried out in a building with three separate entrances and exits, set apart from the main building.
- Test carried out by qualified staff from a specialist and accredited laboratory
- A negative serology test means the person can return to work
- A positive result means the person cannot return to work, the company doctor is involved and further swab checks are carried out
- A negative swab test means the person can return to work
- A positive swab test results in 14 days of quarantine as per the health regulations
The return of office staff will also be done gradually. In this first phase, there will be a rotation system with some staff in the office and others working from home on alternate weeks. Furthermore we have introduced differentiated work shifts to ensure social distancing and, at the same time, a limit on how many people can be in the building at the same time.
Based on government regulations, we have established a much more rigorous health and sanitary protocol than usual. This is how it will work in our facilities:
- Constantly sanitized environment: before, during and after work activities
- Control of symptoms and body temperature already checked at home. Further control at the factory entrance, with very advanced thermo scanners connected to the clocking-in machines
- Timetables and access routes to the factory changed in a very precise way
- Reorganization of offices and production areas to ensure maximum social distancing
- Hand sanitizing gels available at entrances and in offices
- Mandatory use of masks provided to the personnel
The aim is to be as well prepared as possible for what is currently scheduled to be the first race of the 2020 season, on 5 July at the Red Bull Ring. The world championship would effectively start in Austria, one of our home races. We really hope it will and, in the meantime, we are raring to go!