Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl share the opinion that F1 must not be in a hurry to return to the race tracks, but it needs to make sure that F1 personnel is kept safe.
The ongoing coronavirus crisis continues to disrupt the 2020 F1 season after the first eight grands prix have already been cancelled or postponed. While the situation remains critical in most parts of Europe, economic aspects urge the sport to commence the season to safeguard the financial stability of the teams.
Although Sebastian Vettel acknowledges that he is eager to get behind an F1 car again, he emphasises that the sport needs to make sure that everything is done carefully.
“You know it's a tough decision. I think, on the one hand, you have obviously the health of the sport if you look at it from a business aspect. But on the other hand you have the responsibility for people in the paddock, the working people inside the paddock. And, of course, most importantly the fans,” the quadruple world champion said in a video conference.
It has been rumoured that F1 could return to racing behind closed doors as early as in July if the travelling staff of the teams and the organisation get permission to travel to the tracks. The 32-year-old German also hinted that races behind closed doors could happen indeed.
“I think probably the very beginning, the first couple of races, will be a bit compromised compared to what we're used to. But hopefully [it is] not too much because obviously we want to race in a way that we are all familiar with: meaning in front of crowds, in front of fans, with great atmosphere and so on.”
McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl agrees with Vettel, saying that business aspects can’t overcome the safety. The British squad triggered ultimately the cancellation of the Austrian Grand Prix after a team member had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“You know it's a tough decision. I think, on the one hand, you have obviously the health of the sport if you look at it from a business aspect. But on the other hand you have the responsibility for people in the paddock, the working people inside the paddock. And, of course, most importantly the fans,” he is quoted as saying by Motorsport.
The former Porsche boss stressed tht racing can only resume when it is safe to do so. "Definitely we can't go back to racing until we definitely know that our people are safe,” he said.