Alex Wurtz, president of the First Class Drivers Association, said that the drivers of the Formula 1 World Championship for Cars fully agree to plans to start racing this season behind closed doors without an audience in light of the continuing crisis of the Covid-19 virus.
AFP 2020 /
The championship is seeking to start the postponed season due to the rapidly spreading virus, by holding two consecutive races without an audience at Red Bull in Austria in July.
The championship also plans to hold similar races after that in Europe alongside races in Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.
Wurtz, an Austrian, said in televised remarks that drivers prefer to drive in front of the fans, but they understand that this cannot be achieved at present due to these “strange circumstances” that the world is going through at the moment.
“I don’t think anyone in the motorsports world or any driver, and I personally support staging ghost races (without an audience),” added Furtz, a former McLaren and Benetton driver.
“But all the drivers I spoke to, and I am in constant conversation with all of them, none of them refused to do this (driving without an audience) or expressed their opposition to it.”
“Ghost races are a way for us to get back to the races early and not wait for the fans to return, so we are looking for ghost races without an audience and all drivers fully accept that,” said Wurtz.
Due to health concerns, three Formula 1 races have been canceled so far and seven others have been postponed.
The return plan provides for the travel of the teams, most of which are based in Britain, on private planes to Austria without any contact or mixing with any locals.
Wurtz said that racing in these conditions is the right decision now.
“Formula 1 is a global industry. Like any government in the world, we are trying to restore the wheel of the industry to rotation, such as opening the economy because people, families, and connections depend on it, and so does Formula 1,” he said.