F1 2020 start behind closed doors? Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel verdicts
Two of F1's top drivers on suggestions the campaign could initially feature fan-less events to get the season up and running
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 22/04/20 6:01pm
F1's officials are discussing the feasibility of starting the season with races behind closed doors - but what do some of the sport's leading drivers make of the prospect of fan-less grands prix?
Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel have both had their say on the ongoing discussions, as the sport bids to put tentative plans in place to belatedly start the 2020 campaign from the summer.
Officials from both Red Bull and Silverstone have confirmed their respective circuits would be willing to host events without spectators, provided relevant permissions were given, with both the Austrian and British GPs currently scheduled for July.
And Ricciardo says that if F1 can get a season safely under way behind closed doors at some point in the forthcoming months, then he would support the moves.
"There's obviously a push for a season to happen with the right circumstances," Ricciardo said on the Sky F1 Vodcast.
"If that means some of it, or the start of it, is behind closed doors - from my side, so be it.
"As a competitor and not racing since November-December, all I want to do right now is go racing and so as soon as were all clear to go… Of course, with a crowd it's nice, but if we can still race without, I'll take that any day."
Ferrari counterpart Vettel, a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, revealed that there had been a "fair amount" of talk among the body's members about when the season might resume - and under what conditions, including what he dubbed 'ghost races'.
He accepted that the sport faced a difficult balancing act amid the coronavirus crisis, but stressed that both team personnel and potential spectators of events needed to be looked after.
"It is very difficult, it is a tough decision," said the four-time world champion.
"You have the health of the sport, from a business aspect, but on the other hand you have the responsibility to the people working in the paddock and most importantly the fans.
"A lot of people come to watch our races; we need to make sure that as much as we are taking care of ourselves we are taking care of the public."