Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff believes the series can put on a great show in Austria to overcome the “weirdness” of a race held behind closed doors.
Owing to social distancing measures in most countries in Europe as part of guidelines to quell the spread of coronavirus, the upcoming F1 races will be run without fans in attendance.
Wolff says the twin races at the Red Bull Ring with COVID-19 protocols applied will be a new experience for everyone involved, but he believes his team is well prepared.
“I think we know what to do, I think we know that protecting our staff and everybody who attends is the main priority,” said Wolff in an F1 vodcast.
“But equally, it’s new ground, we’ve never been in this situation.
“We’re talking a lot about bubbles, less interaction with the other teams, you guys [the media] and the fans, and that will be a new experience.
“F1 has always been able to take out the positives, and if we’re able to provide a great show on Saturday and Sunday I think that’s going to compensate for the weirdness.”
Wolff admitted that he found the extended break from racing and the disruption of his normal work routine difficult to take.
“It has been definitely surreal, and everybody who tells me that they love spending more time at home, I don’t quite believe it, because we’re in a fast-paced environment,” he added.
“We work in some kind of frame, we know when we go racing, we know when we go back to the office, and we know when we go home. Suddenly it’s like pulling a plug out. I miss the competition.”
However Wolff said that there has been plenty to focus on: “The elephant in the room is that with the 2021 cost cap kicking in big teams and particularly Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull we need to adapt, we need to change processes, how we do things, how we develop, how we spend on innovation and R&D.
“That has been a Mount Everest to climb, and that has been the project that has kept many of us very busy.”