Wurz reassured by F1's plans for season start


Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean, who are both directors of the F1 'drivers' union', the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), have taken part in an online meeting with senior officials from both F1 and the FIA to discuss the prospect of finally getting the season underway.

The two were joined by GPDA chairman, Alex Wurz, Chase Carey, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt and race director, Michael Massi, as they discussed the intention of kick-starting the season in Austria in early July.

Having been told of the precautions being taken and given details of how the event will be managed, Wurz and the GPDA directors will advise now their colleagues.

"They are really trying their best and doing it in a typical F1 safety way, which is immaculate," Wurz told the Guardian following the meeting. "The drivers have been reassured today, I can only underline that.

"I feel confident that the right steps are being made in an efficient timeframe," he added, "and unless outside circumstances intervene I believe we could start the 2020 season in Austria in July."

"Motor racing has been a pioneer in safety," he added. "Right now it's not about saving a driver's life or a spectator or a marshal but the whole safety protocol, analysing it and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

"What we have now, the idea of a closed-loop system at a race venue is really impressive," he insisted.

Admitting that the sport, which would be one of the first to resume business, is taking a step into the unknown, such is the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, Wurz said: "Things can change quite quickly because you have many nations and nationalities involved.

"If half of the paddock was stuck in quarantine that would throw a spanner in the gearbox of going racing in July," he added. "We are used to operating under the very strictest safety rules that make racing so safe.

"F1 can once again be a pioneer in this direction and make it a best practice example for other industries."

His comments however, came shortly before it was revealed that the UK is likely to (finally) introduce a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals in the UK from the end of May, a move which would essentially rule out Silverstone.

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Published: 09/05/2020
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