Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has revealed that he has been in talks with the Italian team about a possible pay cut following the heavy impact of the coronavirus outbreak on international motorsport.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused the first eight grands prix to be either cancelled or postponed while it is still unclear when racing can resume given the uncertainty surrounding the situation. After the sport has extended and pushed forward its traditional summer shutdown to March, April and May, several teams including McLaren, Haas, Renault and Racing Point have announced to place the majority of the staff into furlough in order to protect their business and ensure that their employees can continue to work when the championship kicks off.
While several drivers including the McLaren duo have agreed to take a pay cut, the top drivers are yet to commit to such a move. Speaking from his home via a video conference, Sebastian Vettel has revealed that he is finding himself in conversations with Ferrari to also take a pay cut until the season starts.
“It is definitely something I'm talking about with the team. We don't know yet how the season will look like, when it will start, how many races we have and how it will be going on, etc.”
“But I've always kept whatever decisions I made on this front with the team and myself. And it will be the same this time. So I'm not going to use this argument or this point at this time as a sort of image polish or anything like that. I think what I've decided to do in the past I've done in quiet and it will be the same now.”
In a bid to offer racing spectacle, Formula 1 has decided to organize the cancelled or postponed races, albeit it is only possible in the virtual world. Two races have already been held with the presence of several active F1 drivers, but Vettel has been absent from the virtual racing so far. The four-time world champion explained that he comments from his friends related to the virtual racing has convinced him so much that he has recently purchased a simulator.
“Well the truth is, I didn't have a simulator until a couple of days ago so I have not been tempted because I didn't have the chance. But I have heard a lot of things about it so I thought I might get one and try, but I need to still set it up properly. Generally, I'm not going to foresee a career in sim racing. I think it's more something to try for fun,” he is quoted as saying by Autosport.
The Heppenheim-born said that he used to play video games in his childhood, but his professional race driver career and his three children mean that he had hardly had any time for that in recent years.
"I grew up with some of the stuff and I've been playing some games, but to be honest since I had kids it's not the first thing on my list to do. I will see how much time there will be. But I have read some of the news that some have been racing and I've also read that Charles did well on his debut so that was good for him and the team," the quadruple world champion said.