In Vettel’s role as a director of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, such possibilities are also being explored.
“It [F1] is a sport that is carried out in the open, but we have a lot of people that come to watch our races,” he said. “We need to make sure that as much as we are taking care of ourselves, we are taking care of the public.
“There are a lot of options you can think of, in terms of how to get going again, what’s the best format to start racing again, whether it’s without fans, with fans, ghost races.
“Nobody likes to race in front of empty grandstands. I think it feels a bit odd. The question is, when is the right time to start racing again and whether a ghost race could be held a lot sooner rather than a race the way we are used to it. I don’t know.
“What we would all like is to get back to normal, but not just for Formula 1’s sake, but for everybody’s sake, the whole world. As I’ve said previously in this regard, the best prescription is to be patient.
“Probably, at the very beginning, the first couple of races will be a bit compromised compared to what we are used to. Hopefully not too much because we want to race in a way that we are all familiar with, meaning in front of fans and with an atmosphere, and so on.”
“A championship will still be a championship. In 10 races there would still be a lot of things to get right.”
F1’s managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, recently expressed hope of organising a 19-race calendar. Cramming in so many grands prix into the second half of the year, even stretching the campaign into January as has also been suggested, would seemingly place an intolerable strain on travelling staff, especially if they are also taking additional precautions to stay safe.
Vettel is mindful of such a toll and has advised caution on the matter.
“As drivers, we are at the lucky end,” said Vettel. “Races and race weekends can be tough. Whether they will change the format, losing a day of the weekend, I don’t know. We have that option.
“The limit will be the team, will be the staff, in terms of the mechanics. It’s not about getting the cars from one place to another, that can be done quite quickly, but obviously you need to give enough rest in between to the people.
“There are a lot of questions still to be asked, and to have an answer to. I think we will probably have more races, it will be more packed, but I think the limit should be the people, and that should be respected as well.
“Every now and then they will need a break, so it’s not realistic to have 10 back-to-back race weekends.”