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Formula 1 extends shutdown period for teams amid coronavirus

Original two-week period when teams can't work on car development now extended to over a month amid wait for F1 2020 season to begin

Cars lined up prior to the start of the Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1 has extended its mandatory factory shutdowns for teams for a further two-week period amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual shutdown period had already been brought forward from August after the start of the season was indefinitely delayed and extended from the normal 14 to 21 days.

Now, a fresh agreement between the teams, F1 and the FIA has seen that shutdown elongated again, this time by 14 days to 35 days in total.

"Following unanimous approval by the Formula 1 Strategy Group, Commission and all teams, the World Motor Sport Council has ratified by e-vote the decision to extend the Formula 1 shutdown period from 21 to 35 days, to be taken in March, April and/or May, for all competitors and Power Unit manufacturers," read an FIA statement.

"Further discussions regarding this topic remain open between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams in light of the ongoing global impact of COVID-19."

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It was an Esports special on the latest Sky F1 Vodcast as Ben Stokes, Alex Albon and Johnny Herbert joined Simon Lazenby after the Virtual GP.

Three teams - McLaren, Racing Point and Williams - have announced some sections of staff have been put on furlough, with the trio's respective drivers all taking pay cuts.

F1's teams have held a series of meetings in recent days to discuss ongoing cost-cutting measures and plans for when the season does resume.

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All races have been either postponed or cancelled until mid-June but F1 remains hopeful of a season of at least 15 grands prix once racing does resume.

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