Nicolo Di San Germano, Founder of H2O Racing, says they are fully committed to give a full season of F1 powerboating and aquabikes in a post-coronavirus world. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: F1 powerboat racing has reiterated its commitment to make a comeback with a new season that will also ensure a host of new venues replacing the old ones if needed.

Nicolo di San Germano, Founder of H2O Racing – promoters and organisers of the UIM F1 Powerboat World Championship and the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship – insisted that they are in all readiness to stage rounds on both championships.

“At H2O Racing, we are working hard to adapt a new way of working after the COVID-19 pandemic that has had a huge impact across the world. But the world has undergone changes and considering that we’ve never had such a situation it is tough for us to actually stage races, either in Formula 1 or in aquabikes,” San Germano told Gulf News.

“We don’t know whether this situation will last a few weeks, a few months or longer. But we do want to reassure drivers, local organisers and our fans across the world that we are fully prepared with a plan for the restart of racing,” he added.

With this in mind, the team at H2O Racing has prepared and put a consolidated ‘Anti-Contagion Safety Protocol’ in place to help them usher in the process of getting racing under way once again.

Formula One powerboats leave a blazing trail on the Sharjah lagoon during the F1 World Championship last year. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

The F1 H2O had laid out a full calendar of eight races on the 2020 UIM F1 World Championship with a start in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the second part of March and the traditional final round in Sharjah, from December 16-19. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, all activity has been postponed with all teams and drivers dispersed till the organisers announce a return with the new safety protocol in place.

The new safety protocol is expected to lead to important changes in the organisation of Formula 1 and aquabike events due to the additional measures that need to be implemented to ensure the protection of all involved.

“We are in a much better position today than we were a few days back. Our events are open air races, and yet as usual, our main priority will be on the health and safety of all stakeholders. It will be only after we have all this in place that we hope we will be in a position to resume our racing activity in the near future,” San Germano noted.

One of the major inclusions on the circuit will a state-of-the-art App-based pass for all accredited personnel that will automatically enable the tracking of possible coronavirus cases in the vicinity. “We have to admit that we are not in a position to control everything, but we can do everything we are in a position to achieve so that everyone is safe and secure throughout,” San Germano related.

Green signal

In all probability, the UIM-ABP Aquabike World Championship may get a green signal earlier with the hosting of a couple of rounds on the European Championships, in Poland and Hungary, at the end of August.

The organisers had planned a full calendar of at least seven aquabike events that got under way in the middle of February with the Grand Prix of Kuwait in Kuwait City. However, after the opening race from February 13-15, the world closed due to the pandemic.

“The first round of any race will be a huge educational process for everyone. It will definitely be a change in the way of thinking, be it for the racers or us as the organisers or the fans at large,” San Germano observed.

“We’ve got over a month to go for the race in Hungary [from 28-30], but nothing is for certain. We can only do this much and then we are at the mercy of what’s happening around the world. On our part, we are ready to go and have the races,” he assured.