|Coulthard pans drivers wearing masks when separated by over 6 feet|
(GMM) Former F1 driver turned highly respected broadcaster David Coulthard says the 'ghost race' measures in Austria "seem a bit strange to me".
Strict procedures are in place at the Red Bull Ring, and for subsequent races, to guard against the risk of coronavirus infections.
Widespread testing, the scrapping of the traditional podium, personnel 'bubbles', mandatory mask-wearing and even social distancing during interviews are all in force.
"I'm sorry, but the whole thing seems a bit strange to me from the perspective of a TV commentator," Coulthard told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.
"Keeping a distance is good, but interviewing drivers outdoors with masks with the questioner more than two meters away is an exaggeration.
"I don't want to criticize it, because it was a decision made by the authorities, the FIA and Formula One Management. But if everyone in public can get closer than that without a mask, it should be possible for the drivers too," he added.
"Every politician on television isn't wearing a mask. I just think it's questionable from a discrimination point of view as well. Why? Deaf people understand by reading lips, but they can't do that with these masks," said the former McLaren and Red Bull driver.
When asked if the measures can be eased up over the next races, Coulthard answered: "I want to believe the answer is yes.
"With the same protective measures as are in the paddock, you can have people in the grandstands," said the Scot. "It's much tighter in planes or trains than in outdoor grandstands where you can keep your distance."