Vasseur: We are working under the assumption there will be races

Formula 1 teams remain optimistic they can still get a 15-18 race calendar in 2020 despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Alfa Romeo Boss Frederic Vasseur.

Asked by about the prospect of abandoning the entire season, Vasseur maintains that his team is still preparing as if there will be a regular amount of races, albeit in a particularly jam-packed schedule.

“That’s not the plan at the moment,” he revealed. “We have to take it step by step. Everyone is working under the assumption that there will be races. We are not thinking about the other possibility [of cancellation] because it is too early to do so.

“But if we keep postponing more and more [races], it will of course be difficult to do 15 races in 12 weeks.”

At the same time, Vasseur concedes his team needs “as many races as possible”, but suggests it would be better for his finances and personnel if the season was stretched into 2021, with two-day race weekends.

“[15-18 races in] six [months] would be a bit hard, but six and a half could work. Everyone in the team knows the situation very well. They know that it will take a lot of work. Everyone is pulling together. It is a challenge, but it is the same for everyone. Maybe a bit more for us than for other teams, but we would do it.”

However in the event such a season came to pass, Vasseur acknowledges it could be a particularly tough one for teams who don’t have a strong car from the get-go.

“We’re not going back to the factory between races. It’ll be a difficult exercise,” he said.

“When you have 15 or more races in a row, it is even more important to have a good car from the beginning. Because it would be very difficult — I don’t say impossible because nothing is impossible — to recover from a bad start if you don’t have a ten month season. That’s a fact.”

“But that’s the way it is, and we’re not complaining. It’s a decision to save Formula 1. We all stick together. I think it was an important and right decision. It has its drawbacks, of course. That’s just the way it is.”