After a very long wait due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Formula 1 finally resumed racing last July 5 with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit. Unlike traditional F1 Grand Prix weekends which are jampacked with crowds and fans alike, the 2020 season is currently a no-spectator event in line with various government regulations.
In fact, all the teams in the grid are practicing social distancing, are being tested regularly, and are wearing face masks on track to prevent the spread of the disease.
The new safety measures don't just stop with the teams though. If you watched both the Austrian and Styrian Grand Prix, then you'll notice a lot of changes with how the pre- and post-race activities are done, like the press conferences. Rather than being crammed together in one table, the drivers (and sometimes team principals) are now spaced out in separate chairs. The table itself has been removed too.
But one of the most interesting changes to Formula 1 this 2020 is the podiums. To begin with, they are now held on the track itself and are properly spaced out from each other. The champagne bottles are already there too with the only thing missing being the trophies. Unlike before where dignitaries and various officials of the host country hand out the trophies, there are no people giving the trophies to the drivers. Instead, the prizes are awarded to the drivers via a trophy delivery system.
A Redditor who goes by the name of 'Bksydd' has posted a photo of how the trophy delivery system was used in the Styrian Grand Prix. Interestingly enough, it is not that high-tech or complicated and even caught the attention of F1 champion Jenson Button. They are simply R/C cars (Traxxas Slash, by the looks of it) attached to the bottom of a plywood box which then fit onto the trophy stand. It's a simple solution, but looks so elegant at the same time.
With the remaining Formula 1 races to be a no-spectator event complete with safety measure, expect to see more of these trophy delivery systems at work. Hopefully, the person controlling it doesn't screw up and deliver the wrong trophy.