Vettel: F1 would ‘feel odd’ without the fans

Date published: April 17 2020 - Mark Scott

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel is not particularly keen on the prospect of behind-closed-doors racing, saying Formula 1 would “feel odd” without fans in attendance.

In an online press conference, Vettel discussed a wide range of topics which included details on a potential wage cut, a new Ferrari deal and perhaps a foray into the world of virtual racing.

Vettel was also asked for his thoughts on how Formula 1 should think about returning to racing once it is safe again to do so.

“Whether it’s without fans, whether it’s with fans, ghost races or no-ghost races and other things, I don’t know,” Vettel pondered.

“I think nobody likes to race in front of empty grandstands, it feels a bit odd, but on the other hand the question is when is the right time to sort of say let’s start racing again and whether a ghost race can be held much sooner than a race in a way that we’re used to it.

“What we would all like is to get back to normal – not just for Formula 1 but for everybody’s sake and the whole world – but as I said previously in this regard the best prescription will be to be patient.

“It is painful because I want to get back in the car and if I’m selfish I want to race, but there’s a lot of people that would like a lot of things right now compared to the situation they’re in now.

“Probably at the very beginning the first couple of races will be compromised compared to what we’re used to but hopefully 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. We will see.”

Vettel thinks there is a difficult balancing act taking place with the need to begin the season from a business perspective against the need to keep the health and safety of the people involved as top priority.

“We have spoken about that a fair amount inside the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers’ Association),” Vettel revealed.

“It’s a very, very difficult one. It’s a tough decision. On the one hand you have the health of the sport if you look at it from a business aspect, on another hand you have the responsibility of the people in the paddock – the working people inside the paddock – and of course most importantly the fans.

“It’s a sport that is carried out in the open but we have a lot of people that normally come to watch our races.

“We need to make sure that as much as we are taking care of ourselves we are also taking care of the public.

“Now, there’s a lot of options you can think of in terms of how to get going again, what’s the best format to start racing again.”

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