F1 extends factory shutdown period again

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Formula One's mandatory factory shutdown period has been extended into June.

The coronavirus pandemic has indefinitely delayed the start of the season and there will be no racing until July at the earliest. F1 is hopeful of starting the season with behind-closed-doors races in Austria and Great Britain.

The pandemic had forced F1 to bring forward the usual summer shutdown period. While it originally was for three weeks, it was extended to five weeks.

The World Motor Sport Council, run by motor racing's governing body the FIA, has extended that shutdown period once again. It has now been extended from 35 to 63 consecutive days, stretching through May and into June, while the shutdown for power unit suppliers has been extended into June.

If F1 can hold an Austrian GP on July 5, the new extension would give teams five weeks of factory time to prepare for the opening race.

In both instances, the FIA is allowing an option for some R&D work to be undertaken in the final stages of the current shutdown, although it would be closely monitored.