Looking out the window at 3am from my high floor apartment, I am feeling conflicted. There lies Abu Dhabi with clear skies that you notice the shine of the blinking lights atop the high-rise building to warn the airplane captains that are mostly grounded. My memory still strong reminds me that it was not such so a year ago at the same time, as the temperature was warmer, skies were dusty, andI accepted it as the norm. And here lies my conflict.
Did this invisible threat, COVID-19, that grounded flights, locked down cities and countries, canceled or postponed sports and global events cause the skies to be clearer? or was it us who burned the skies with all sorts of gases and other material, to go higher, go faster, go bigger?
All sports are suffering, and I know Formula 1 is no different if not even more vulnerable.According to Giacomo Galardini at Forbes (9 Mar 2020), that postponing all Serie A matches until 4 April 2020 will result in losses of around $34 million, assuming that tickets are fully refunded. In comparison, and according to Helmut Marko (Red Bull Advisory) Formula 1 teams will lose $100 million for every 5 races canceled.
Other than the health concerns that team managers and owners have for the safety of their teams and their families and putting aside their mandatory compliance with their respective country regulations around COVID-19; I wonder if they have the same feelings I do.
Are they noticing the effects on the environment and weather the global lockdown (if you can call it that)?
Or considering ways to fly less people to races? Or even less equipment?
Or rethinking the schedule to reduce air travel?
Or dare I ask, reduce their carbon footprint?
I am not naïve, and definitely not an environmentalist all of a sudden. I realize that I love a sport that big engines that produce allot of heat and carbon emissions is the central point of it.
And while I know the sport is moving towards greener engines, I just wonder, have they taken a step back and looked around?
Or, rightly so, are they just focused on staying alive as they cut salaries, furlough employees and make operational savings as best they can?
This question reminds me of my professor during my MBA program back in late 2009, when I asked why the USA is not doing much to determine the cause of the global recession and who should be blamed. His answer was “the policy is to stop the bleeding, and then improve the governance when the bleeding stopped.”
I miss Formula1, but we all have to play our part in saving humanity by staying at home and remain safe. This will pass and we will be racing again.
Until then, share your thoughts below.