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Formula One

F1 Drivers Ready for Ghost Races Behind Closed Doors

It is time for racing fans to rejoice as Formula One comes back for another season. The pandemic has been a period of dullness and distress for sports fans. The last two months have been a real test of patience for everyone around the world. What was imagined to go away in fifteen days, has completely shattered the world economy. Sporting events are amongst the top things to be affected harshly by COVID’19. Not only is it a loss for fans but also for sports organizations and stadium owners.

However, with time sports events are getting back on track. Talking about “tracks,” formula One, the largest racing competition, will start with its first race on 5th July. Racing lovers are sitting on the edge, waiting for the nail-biting tournament to commence. There are mixed emotions about Formula One this time, though. No one will be able to enjoy the race like before, given the restrictions. The spirit and energy will not be the same, especially for the drivers who are used to a crowd and cheer.

What Does This Season Hold For Us

“Motorsport, Formula One, is a global industry, and like every government in the world, we are all trying to kick start the industry, the economy, because people’s families and mortgages depend on it. And it’s the same in Formula One. 

 So ghost races are a means to get us back on track earlier than if we wait for fan-attended races. Therefore we are looking for ghost races, and all the drivers accept that – fully.” Said Alexander Wurz, who drove for Benetton and Williams. The racer ended his F1 career in 2007 and is now the Grand Prix Driver’s Association’s chairman.

So far, 3 Formula One races have been canceled, and seven have been postponed. One of the canceled races being the Monaco showcase, which was supposed to take place this weekend. However, given the situation, Formula One drivers are fully supporting the ghost races. Two back to back races will be held in Austria’s red Bull ring in July. 

Two back to back Silverstone races were planned to take place at the end of July. However, the new government impositions might push the date to August since a minimum of three week’s notice has to be issued.

 “For Silverstone, if we move into August, that might give a little more certainty, but actually, I think it’s probably essential that there’s clarity on the quarantine situation in advance of that.” Said Pringle, Silverstone managing director. 

 The races will be broadcasted on Sky Sports and the British Grand Prix.

Formula One Amidst The COVID’19 Battle

The race will be held in Austria, where the COVID’19 situation isn’t so harsh. The budget for the tournament has been cut short to $145 million. There will be extra measures taken for the safety and security of all racers. There will not be any spectators.

“It has become very clear, from talking to the management of the teams. The message is clear. We’ve got to cut costs and have a reduction in the cost cap. If we lose some teams in this period, it would be a tragedy,” said Ross Brawn, the managing director of F1.

According to the latest schedule, there will be a total of sixteen races taking place in six European circuits across Europe. Following the government rules in the pandemic, there will be strict screening and protocol followed. Since most drivers are UK based, they will not be allowed to travel back and forth till the end of the tournament.

When “Ghost Racing” was mentioned to Sebastian Vettel, four times Formula One World Champion, he said it felt “odd.” Like every other racer, he was heavy-hearted to accept this decision yet acknowledged that it is essential to take safety measures.