Mugelo circuit deserves to host an F1 race, says Vettel
Berlin, Germany - Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has said that the Mugello track in Italy deserves to host a Formula One race, as one of several candidates for grands prix in the season revamped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vettel and team-mate Charles Leclerc had test drives on Tuesday in Mugello ahead of the belated July 5 season-opener in Austria. The track was completed in 1974 but is yet to stage an F1 race, with the Italian GP contested in Monza.
"I really think Mugello deserves to host a Formula One Grand Prix," Vettel said in a team statement. "I hadn't driven it for eight years, so it took a few laps for me to get used to the track and then I really enjoyed myself."
F1 organizers have so far confirmed eight races in Europe until September 6, but one or two more could follow on the continent because it remains unclear whether racing is possible in Asia and the Americas, and the Singapore and Japanese races already scrapped.
Four hosts not on the original 2020 calendar are contenders, Mugello, another Italian track Imola, Portugal's Portimao and Germany's Hockenheim.
Four-time world champion Vettel, who is leaving the Scuderia after the season, and Leclerc tested in older cars because the latest model is not allowed to be used in such events.
"I was glad to get back in the cockpit after a break that was even longer than the usual winter one. I was also very pleased to see all the guys from the team at last," Vettel said.
Leclerc said: "How great was that, getting back on track for real. I'd missed it! ... Now, we're looking ahead to the season and as from next week, things get serious!"dpa