As reported recently, Helmut Marko is concerned that the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix may be threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is currently in its third wave across Europe.
The Red Bull Motorsport advisor explained that vaccination was not progressing fast enough in the country to be able to welcome F1 and its fans to the Red Bull Ring in July 2021 for the Austrian Grand Prix.
“The latest words from the chancellor are that the majority of the population will be vaccinated by the end of May. If that is the case, the chance of having spectators is higher,” explains Marko, who tries to be optimistic.
“We will have to see how things develop on a daily basis.”
Marko confirmed that he himself has been vaccinated with AstraZeneca but regrets the “drama” around the vaccination by the Austrian government. The Red Bull advisor is more optimistic about the British Grand Prix, where vaccination is progressing “incredibly fast”.
Meanwhile, Mercedes are “pushing hard” to close the performance gap to rivals Red Bull who showed that the Austrian team powered by Honda are certainly contenders in this early part of the 2021 F1 sesaon.
Mercedes and Red Bull were fairly evenly matched at the season-opener in Bahrain, with Lewis Hamilton eventually overhauling Max Verstappen in the race to take victory by just a few tenths.
“The 2021 F1 season certainly began in spectacular style,” said Wolff.
“It was an encouraging first race, coming away from Bahrain with a double podium, and hopefully the duel in the desert between us and Red Bull is a sign of what’s to come this year.
“We may have won the first round, but we’re under no illusions that this will be a straightforward season.
“The car is still lacking pace over a single lap and Red Bull appear to have the edge right now. We’re pushing hard to close the gap, and this is a challenge we relish.”
Wolff is looking forward to returning to Imola this weekend, which returned to the calendar last year following a more than decade long break.