Wolff ‘very proud’ to see Austria as season-opener

Jamie Woodhouse
Toto Wolff

Toto Wolff is confident F1 can put on a show in Austria to counter the weirdness.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said he is “very proud” that his home country of Austria will host the first race of the 2020 season.

In what is a heavily revised schedule, Austria has been slated as the first race of the season on July 5, set to be the first of two races at the Red Bull Ring.

“I’m pretty optimistic that we can start in Austria because Austria has been one of the best countries in keeping the virus numbers low,” Wolff said in a Mercedes video.

“And I think they will come up with a plan of how we can race.

“I know the circuit extremely well, because I did a thousand laps there as a racing driver and as an instructor. I lived in Spielberg, being a junior driver. It feels a little bit like a second home. I love Styria, and have many fond memories from the place.

“Starting the season there makes me very proud, that Austria will be the season opener, and doing it on two consecutive weekends so that finally we get two races done. I’m very much looking forward to it.”

Currently Mercedes’ factory in Brackley, like for all teams is under an FIA-enforced shutdown.

Wolff says a special group has been created to make preparations for a full return to work for Mercedes’ staff.

“We have a great task force in MGP which is structuring the life after corona, social distancing, moving desks and work places around. So it will be very different,” he explained.

“I think what we have learnt is we can do a lot from home, Zoom conferences or Skype or Webex are very efficient, so I think that’s going to change in our work environment.

“Then of course we are planning the next races and hopefully getting the season started soon.”

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