F1 should not hold 'ghost races' – Vettel

Apr.20 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel thinks Formula 1 should “wait” rather than put on what he and others are calling “ghost races”.

Amid the sport’s coronavirus-induced standstill, F1’s apparent plan is to host two or even three races at single venues like Austria and Silverstone from July.

The races would be held behind closed doors, without spectators.

“If I am critical, you could say that we’ve had a couple of those in the past,” Ferrari’s Vettel told Auto Motor und Sport.

“I’m not a fan of it. Ghost races would be bland and strange, not only for us on site but also for the people watching television.

“There will certainly be people who watch it but it will not be the same,” said the quadruple world champion.

The economic reality, however, is that many Formula 1 teams will not survive the crisis if the sport doesn’t try to at least get back to racing in some form or another.

Red Bull official Dr Helmut Marko told ORF that it is crucial that racing gets underway again.

“If the season was to fail, the six smaller teams would have no income,” he said. “I think that would mean the financial end for many teams.”

Vettel commented: “Of course you have to weigh it up.

“On the one hand there is the economic side of Formula 1 – that it survives and the teams continue to exist.

“On the other hand, you have to pay attention to the quality and the image of the sport. In my opinion, we should wait rather than do ghost races.

“Yes it would mean we go back to racing faster, but I think the best medicine is to be patient, even if it hurts.”

And according to the German, there may be a silver lining to the crisis for F1 and the world.

“It’s a bad time,” he admitted, “but it’s also a great opportunity.

“It is like a reset. We can find out what really matters – what is really important for us and the world. We appreciate the smaller things again and hopefully we will continue to do that afterwards as well.”

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