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Our Team at F1 in Portimao

By | 27. October 2020|Aktuell, Im Einsatz, News, On Duty|

Last weekend, our team was back in action for the F1 Paddock Club for the first time since the start of the F1 season 2020.

Intensive preparation

 

Whether and when spectators could be admitted to an F1 race again and when the hospitality area of Formula 1, to which the Paddock Club belongs, could be reopened, was often discussed. Under these constantly changing conditions, our Formula 1 operations also changed. Thus, our planning for a coming assignment was stopped at short notice more than once. All the greater was the joy of being able to carry out the assignment in Portimao.
The preparation for the mission was characterized by significantly more effort and equally pronounced short-term orientation, as regulations, infection incidents and government announcements changed, sometimes on a daily basis. The aim of the preparation was of course to ensure that the mission was carried out in accordance with the rules. Since Formula 1 operates internationally, the regulations of the host country as well as the regulations in Germany had to be monitored and our planning had to be adjusted accordingly. One of the many special features of this event for us was the significant increase in personnel requirements due to the significantly wider range of tasks. Our tasks in Portimao now also included measuring the temperature of the guests and looking after the Covid-19 test tents. Nevertheless, our Formula 1 team was full of anticipation for their first assignment this year.
The organization and execution of the flights was surprisingly smooth. We had expected some circumstances due to rebookings and cancellations, but were positively surprised when each team member reached the airport in Portugal as scheduled. All our team members had been tested for the corona virus before the flight started, as access to the race track was only granted with a negative corona test from the last 72 hours. Even during the mission, each team member was tested again every 2 days directly at the race track and the results and test dates were recorded in a meticulously managed “test schedule”.
Arriving in Portimao, we were able to experience the “bubble” policy of the F1 officials, which we had already mentioned in an earlier article. All participants in the F1 GP were divided into the groups “Guests”, “Media” and “Suppliers” and accommodated separately. “Suppliers” of the F1, to which we as security service also belong, were allowed to move exclusively between the hotel and the race track. This also applied to our local security support, which recruits at each race for the purpose of better communication. In any other season, if the locals had gone home after each shift, they too were instructed to spend the time between races at the hotel.

 

The race weekend

Our efforts were entirely focused on preventing the virus from spreading. Our team members also played their part and wore face masks, visors and gloves during the mission. The number of guests in the Paddock Club was significantly reduced and we checked the guests already at the parking lot for the presence of their masks, accreditation documents and body temperature. While Formula 1 is usually a hotspot for celebrities, this time the guests of the Paddock Club were mainly team guests and guests of the sponsors. Also the F1 Experiences like the “Gridwalk” were only held in a very small and strictly controlled setting. Visits from and by members of the racing teams were strictly prohibited in order not to destroy the individual bubbles. The guest handling and the communication within the team, which was already difficult due to the engine noise anyway, turned out to be a little more difficult than normal for us because of the wearing of the masks, since lip-reading was no alternative.

 

The conclusion

Yes, everything was a little different, but it worked well. We were able to experience that the measures were meticulously controlled and implemented, but the mood of the guests was still consistently positive. We could not find any violations of the rules and above all we received gratitude and positive feedback for our work. There is certainly room to optimize certain processes, but due to the constantly changing situation, short-term adjustments will still be necessary. The GP of Portugal showed above all that opening the races to guests is basically possible and feasible and we hope that this commitment for the Formula 1 was not the last in the 2020 season.

 

Your #TeamRAD

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