Romain Grosjean provides update on driver talks with F1 chiefs
GPDA director says drivers keen to help their teams and the sport get the 2020 season up and running
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 20/05/20 3:04pm
Haas' Romain Grosjean, a director of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, says F1's stars are keen to help the sport return to racing as soon as is practical.
With F1 officials working on a July start to the campaign with a double header under strict safety measures and regular testing for COVID-19 in Austria, Haas driver Grosjean told the latest Sky F1 Vodcast that the grid's drivers were in regular contact and had recently been briefed by plans by the sport's officials.
"We have got a WhatsApp group and it has been very active, I must say," said Grosjean of the drivers' body. "A lot of discussions on different subjects.
"We had a call with Formula 1, Chase Carey and Ross [Brawn]. I just couldn't make the call, but I know Alex [Wurz, GPDA chairman] and Sebastian [Vettel, GPDA director] were on it, and then I got the feedback.
"We are trying to be as much as we can involved; trying to help the best we can because to help the teams we need to go racing earlier than later.
"Obviously not doing anything costs money for nothing and if we can go racing then we know what's happening."
With the prospect of a very different type of grand prix weekend awaiting F1 personnel at the Red Bull Ring, with extensive safe logistical measures being in operation, Grosjean added: "Everyone is doing his best. Obviously, it's very difficult to know what the situation is going to be like.
"Taking a lot of measures and trying to make sure that everything is great. But maybe in July the world will be in a much better place and actually we can ease things up a little bit. As I said, the earlier we can go racing the better."
How will it feel to race in F1's planned 'biosphere'?
F1 has already confirmed that the season's early rounds in Europe will run without fans and Grosjean said: "It's going to be normal and abnormal at the same time.
"We're going to go back to racing and driving cars, but also we'll have a limited amount of people around and no spectators. So, some things will be very different and some things will be the same.
"But it's going to be good. But everyone is looking forward to going back racing."
While the final length of the 2020 calendar remains uncertain, what does appear clear is that races will come thick and fast once the campaign is underway.
Grosjean confirms the drivers are aware that the extra restrictions on travel and safety could mean they are away for longer periods of time than normal.
"It's going to be hard to be away, but we're all aware that could happen," said the Frenchman.
"We are enjoying the time that we have now [at home] but obviously once you start going racing, it could be four races in a row in Europe and if we go to Asia, is it going to be the same thing? We may be away for a month.
"So we've just got to be prepared. It's going to be different, it's not going to be what we used to have in terms of flying as late as you can [into the country] and as early off as you can. But we need to go racing, we need to do the best for everyone, and if it takes a little bit of time away so be it."