Threatened with a hefty fine or even prison if they break the Hungarian lockdown rules, Christian Horner admits this weekend will be “tough” on F1 staff.
The fate of the Hungarian Grand Prix, round three of the 2020 championship, was thrown into doubt last weekend when Hungary issued severe lockdown rules for all UK and non-European F1 personnel.
Told to either be at the track or in their respective hotel rooms, no inbetweens, no eating out, they were warned that anyone caught breaking the rules could face a €15,000 fine or imprisonment.
Despite the harsh rules, Formula 1 is pressing ahead with the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
Horner says the conditions will be “tough” for those in the paddock.
“It’s tough for them,” said the Red Bull team boss.
“But we’ve just spent three months shut up at home – and it was one of the conditions that we knew would potentially be applicable to return to racing.
“Given the choice of those being the conditions or not racing, I think we’d all sign up for those conditions.
“It’s not ideal but it’s unprecedented times and it’s only a week in our lifetime.
“The situation globally seems to be hopefully improving with more races being announced, and Hungary is a racetrack we enjoy and hopefully can perform well at.”
The severe lockdown was already causing a few headaches for some on Wednesday.
Formula 3 driver Oscar Piastri didn’t pack a lunchbox on his way to Hungary and found himself, well hungry.
“So, hotel is closed for lunch, no catering at the track, €15000 fine if I am caught outside of the hotel or track. Guess I’m eating my left arm for lunch…,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
So, hotel is closed for lunch, no catering at the track, €15000 fine if I am caught outside of the hotel or track. Guess I’m eating my left arm for lunch…
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) July 15, 2020
Thankfully many people came to his aid.
“I have acquired food, thanks for all your help everyone,” he wrote, “(considering tweeting about food more often after how this went).”
Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says it is for one week so urged everyone in the paddock to respect the regulations.
“I know it’s not what you want to hear, that you cannot go out,” he said. “But it is one race and I think we should be happy that we can go racing there. We should respect their rules, and what they tell us to do.
“So I do not see a problem with it, you know.”