(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has allayed fears about spectators returning to Formula 1 circuits en masse.
This weekend at Red Bull’s Austrian GP venue, just 15,000 spectators are allowed under the current local restrictions.
That said, 78-year-old Marko was still seen posing for a selfie with a fan without a mask on Thursday.
“FOM is much more restrictive than the respective government, and of course, we respect that,” said Red Bull’s F1 supremo.
“But the system works. Although we travel to so many countries, there has been no corona case for a long time,” he told Osterreich newspaper.
For the second race in Austria next weekend, restrictions ease significantly and Red Bull is expecting a full house – although Marko admitted the public may still be worried about the risk of infection.
Meanwhile, organizers of the British GP have just announced that next month’s race at Silverstone has been given the green light by the UK government to fill up the grandstands.
“This is something we have all been working towards for months and I cannot wait to welcome a full capacity crowd back to Silverstone this July,” said track boss Stuart Pringle.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali was quoted as expressing his “huge appreciation” to the British prime minister Boris Johnson.
Seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton, though, is worried.
“Of course it’s great that the best fans in the world are allowed to come back,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the number of infections in England is skyrocketing. You’d have to worry about a full house, so I do have mixed emotions.
“It’s great that there were spectators in France, and we haven’t heard any bad news since then. But I’d prefer to be careful and return to normal in a more gradual way than experimenting with the fans,” he added.
Fellow Briton George Russell, however, is less concerned.
“Everyone who comes in will have to be vaccinated or tested,” he said. “And you have to point out that 50 Wembley Stadiums would fit into the grounds at Silverstone.”