Jaguar boss: FE priority “getting races back on”, not testing

Matt Kew

The earliest the season can resume is July, considered by FE organisers as a ‘yellow flag’ month whereby there is an opportunity to race should the COVID-19 situation stabilise.

This marks a minimum of a four-month gap since the most recent E-Prix was held in Marrakesh on 29 February – the same duration as the mid-July to late-November off-season.

But Jaguar team principal James Barclay told Motorsport.com there was no need to delay the season restart any longer by holding an additional test.

He said: “The priority is about getting races back on. Of course, we never planned to have a test at this point in the year. Although there’s been a gap, it doesn’t create the need.

“Even organising a test has its complications at the moment. I don’t think there’s a considerable call or need from anyone at the moment [to test].”

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The off-season is split with a mid-October three-day pre-season run at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. There was also a rookie test in Marrakesh held the day after the race.

BMW Andretti driver Alex Sims said: “If given the option, I think most drivers would probably take [the opportunity to test], yes. I would take seat time right now. 

“But, equally, there have been enough times in my career where we've had a long winter break and I have had two or three months off. When I was young I would sort of get itchy and think 'I'll lose my speed if I don't get back into a car'.

“But when you get back in the car after three months, five laps later you're on it - it feels the same as normal. Those concerns [about a lack of running] aren't particularly strong for me. Especially if we go racing in slightly more open circuit environments, we'll be OK.”

Series founder and CEO Alejandro Agag told Motorsport.com that the current 2019-20 season could be written off by October if no more races are scheduled.

Sims added of the situation: “I find it sort of weird that if you were to ask a tennis player or a footballer to not do any practice and then effectively go into Roland Garros or Wimbledon, or go into a Premier League game, most people would say 'What? You have not done any training and then, boom, you're entered into a match'. 

“It would seem weird, but it doesn't for some reason in motorsport.”