Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton says the lack of fans at Formula 1 races in 2020 will make the atmosphere feel “worse than a test day”, but is eager to get back to racing.
Formula 1 is intending to begin its 2020 season in Austria in July, with all events through to that point either postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But when racing resumes it will do so behind closed doors, with circuits in Austria, Britain, Hungary and Spain having confirmed their grands prix, if they go ahead, will take place without spectators.
“It gave me a really empty feeling as the fans are really what make that race,” Hamilton said on the notion of a British Grand Prix without fans.
“Around the world all the races we go to the more fans the more atmosphere you have, like Silverstone, Monza, it’ll be very empty.
“But what’s great is I get messages from people around the world who are struggling with this period and they’re not getting to watch sport and it shows how significant sport is in people’s lives. It brings us all together, it’s so exciting and captivating.
“I don’t know how exciting it’ll be for people watching on TV, it’ll be better than nothing, but for us it will be like a test day, probably even worse than a test day in a sense.
“On a test day there’s not a huge amount of people who come to watch but there’s still some, but you’ll have nobody in the crowd and you’ll just see empty seats when you drive down.
“But racing is racing, and I don’t think have had enough time to truly unleash the potential of our cars so I’m exciting to get back in. I really, really do miss it.”