The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the world on a massive scale. Motorsport has been widely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with many events either postponed or cancelled.
However, the reaction of the motorsport community has been incredibly positive. Motorsport continues to rally against the pandemic and is providing support in this time of need.
We all need a reason to smile during recent times.
Positivity In The Face Of Pandemic
Manufacturers aiding the cause
The coronavirus pandemic has caused most major car manufacturers to either close their factory doors or halt production.
However, several industry-leading marques are helping fight back against the coronavirus pandemic. The likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, Lamborghini and General Motors/Ford are using their production lines to aid the world’s health services.
This includes exploring ideas to mass produce ventilators and breathing aids, to supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers. PPE has been in short supply across the medical frontline. It is an exceptional effort across the board and should be commended.
Donations To Fight The Pandemic
Many of motorsport’s manufacturers and stars have donated money to relief efforts set up in response to the pandemic.
In a truly global effort, the likes of Porsche and Audi have donated large sums of money to help battle the outbreak. Both Porsche and Audi donated €5 million in emergency aid towards the crisis.
There have also been many charitable donations from the world of motorsport.
McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris shaved his head live on streaming platform Twitch to raise money for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Over 36,000 people watched Norris buzz-cut his hair after raising over $12,000.
Former McLaren boss Ron Dennis has donated £1 million for a new initiative in the United Kingdom set up to help feed frontline workers for the National Health Service.
Seven UK-based F1 teams have also joined forces to develop and create breathing machines. The operation has been dubbed “Project Pitlane”.
The Agnelli family, who control Ferrari’s F1 team and road car business and the Fiat Chrysler empire, made a €10 million donation to the Italian Civil Protection Department. The family also bought and distributed 150 new ventilators, as well as other medical equipment, to help fight the pandemic in Italy.
Italy has been one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic.
Alexander Sims, driver for Formula E team BMW iAndretti Racing, has been putting his skills to use. Sims has been helping deliver spare PPE stock from UK-based motorsport teams to hospitals in need.
Sims has been delivering spare gloves, hand sanitizer, spare protective suits and cleaning wipes in a bid to help fight the pandemic.
The sister of his performance engineer, Andrea Ackroyd, works for the National Health Service in Great Britain.
Sims told the BBC: "She was just explaining the dire situation they're [the NHS] in, in terms of PPE. She's the brains behind this. I'm just the one with a bit of time on my hands to try and organize it, send out some emails, contact people and pick it up. Wearing my own gloves and trying to be safe in the process and looking at the bigger picture.”
iRacing keeping spirits up
Online racing has helped keep people positive during times of lockdown. While physical racing has largely been postponed or cancelled, e-racing has at least helped fill the void caused by the pandemic.
Many professional drivers and celebrities have been invited to compete in a host of online races. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc won Formula 1’s official online edition of the Vietnamese Grand Prix, following the race’s postponement.
IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR and several rally series have all held online races in the absence of motor racing.
With races usually streamed online – via Twitch, Facebook Live or YouTube Live – fans have been able to tune in and watch the drama unfold!
Game makers Codemasters has gone one step further by adding coronavirus-related messages to its DiRT Rally 2.0 online game.
Codemasters added Public Health England’s “Stay Home Save Lives” slogan to banners seen throughout the UK-based rally game.
The makers hope the message will aid awareness against the pandemic.