Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has said that holding races without any fans will feel “even worse than a test day”.
Formula 1 plans to get the season underway by holding behind-closed-door events, meaning no fans will be allowed to attend and all personnel will be strictly limited and monitored.
It’s seen as the only viable option to ensure some form of racing takes place in 2020, but Hamilton says the lack of atmosphere will make the races “even worse than a test day”.
One of those races that could be run behind closed doors is Hamilton’s home race at Silverstone.
“Around the world, all the races we go to, the more fans there, the more atmosphere you have. That’s why you have places like Silverstone and Monza, so it’s going to be very empty.
“But what’s great is I’m getting messages from people around the world who are struggling during this period because they are not getting to watch sports and it just shows how significant sport is in people’s lives.
“It’s brings us all together and it’s so exciting and captivating.
“I don’t know how exciting it’s going to be for people watching it on TV but it’s going to be better than nothing, but for us it’s going to be like a test day, probably even worse than a test day in a sense.
“On a test day there’s not a huge amount of people in Barcelona come to watch but there are still some, where here you’re going to have nobody in the crowd and you’re just going to see empty seats as you’re driving down.”
Hamilton is desperate though to go racing again, and said it is almost a “blessing” that he has been reminded of how important the things he “loves” are to him.
“Racing is racing and I don’t think any of us have had enough time to really, truly unleash the potential of our cars so I’m excited to get back in. I really, really do miss it,” he admitted.
“It’s almost a blessing on one side because it gives you even more appreciation for the things that you love and the things that you do.
“This has given me more energy and inspiration and determination to keep delivering and keep working with this great team, so I’m excited for the future.”