Dhe Austrian government gave Formula 1 hope that the season would start without an audience. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (The Greens), including Minister of Culture and Sports, said on Wednesday that there would be “at least not in the way” of a ghost race. “We will provide the relevant motorsport associations with all applicable guidelines as a service, so they can have a look, whether it works or not.”
According to Kogler, meeting the entry and exit regulations of the ten teams from England, Italy and Switzerland is the core problem. According to the Formula 1 calendar, the Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled for July 4th. All Grand Prix planned up to that point have been postponed or canceled (Monaco).
Helmut Marko, the sports director of the Austrian Formula 1 racing team Red Bull, looks optimistically at the plan: “I estimate the chances are very high, unless the corona situation worsens,” he wrote to the F.A.Z. on Thursday: “The Austrian government is currently drawing up a catalog of measures under which conditions a race can take place without a spectator. At the same time, the FOM (Formula 1 management / d. Red.) Checks to how many people you can reduce the F1 team to, “says Marko’s answer:” It is the will of the Federal Government, FOM and Red Bull Ring that the race is taking place. “
The Austrian race track in Styria, like the team of the same name, belongs to the Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz. According to Mercedes, around 100 employees are needed to drive a Grand Prix with both cars. Even if this number could be reduced, around ten teams with around 1000 people in the paddock per race can be expected, since among other things employees such as the tire supplier Pirelli are still needed. In addition, there would be the marshals, the rescue teams and files for securing the race track from the outside.
Vettel doesn’t want quick shots
Sebastian Vettel reacted cautiously on Thursday to the question of what he thought of Formula 1 races without spectators: “In Austria, it will probably be said that it is bland. You shouldn’t risk quick shots, ”he said in a conference call, but spoke of the economic needs of the teams. Without a Grand Prix, the marketer and the racing teams will especially lose the income from television marketing. Three or four companies could not survive these losses. That is why FOM is working feverishly to design a new calendar. Without viewers, however, the promoters cannot refinance the high entry fees. Even if the rental fee for the driver field of an average of more than twenty million euros was waived, organizational costs of two to three million euros would remain. It could therefore be that FOM steps in as the organizer.
Vettel asked for patience not only with a view to returning to racing, but missed driving the Ferrari. The Heppenheimer wants to continue his career at Scuderia beyond the contract that will expire this year: “I am one of the most experienced pilots, but not the oldest. And yes, I would like to stay with Ferrari. ”The 32-year-old from Hesse also used the break from racing for further negotiations with team boss Mattia Binotto:“ It wasn’t currently a top priority. We still have enough time until the end of June to discuss this. ”Then the future would be clarified before the first wheel turns again.