Sky Sports will present coverage of the upcoming 2020 Formula One season on-site, multiple on-air personalities have confirmed.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presented questions as to whether broadcaster such as Sky would present coverage on-site.
Writing on Twitter earlier this week, Sky’s F1 presenter Simon Lazenby confirmed Sky’s plans.
“For those asking, Sky Sports F1 will be on site in Austria, hoping to bring you as close to the action as we possibly can. It’s been a long wait,” he said.
In addition, speaking on The Notebook, Ted Kravitz noted the news separately.
Sky have yet to formally confirm their coverage plans, either through their website or to Motorsport Broadcasting separately.
Last week, this site confirmed that Channel 4 will present the opening phase of the new season from a location in the UK.
Fewer journalists on-site…
Elsewhere, the FIA have set out their recommendations for all working at the race track during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the considerations for media working the event.
The organisation recommends “a separation of two meters between individuals” in areas of the paddock where this is possible.
A key theme throughout the media guidance is that the governing body suggests that media outlets work remotely where feasible.
The FIA recommends that host broadcasters only bring talent who are “essential to the delivery of the TV broadcast” to the circuit, with all other aspects of the broadcast produced remotely.
On the media front, the FIA suggests that a small group of media agencies, covering the largest audience reach, work together to produce interviews, making content available to journalists who are off-site.
The guidance does not name specific media outlets given that each championship has its own set of stakeholders and reach, but the FIA has designed their guidelines to encompass all entities.
…and the end of the media pen
The media pen interviews that are commonplace across motor sport are likely over, for now.
Instead, the governing body recommends replacing the media pen and group interviews with pooled unilateral TV interviews, held in a centralised space within the paddock and distributed to all outlets.
However, the post-qualifying and post-race press conferences for the top three drivers remain, but floor space replaced “with spaces adhering to social distance guidelines,” similar in layout to how the UK government currently conducts its current daily briefing.
Clearly, these changes mean that there will be less on offer in terms of supplementary content across the board, but it is a necessary price as motor sport returns to action.