Formula 1 2020: Reigning champions Mercedes to share reserve drivers with McLaren, Racing Point
Formula One world champions Mercedes will share reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez with the Racing Point and McLaren teams this season, a spokesman said on Thursday.
London: Formula One world champions Mercedes will share reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez with the Racing Point and McLaren teams this season, a spokesman said on Thursday.
The Belgian and Mexican are both former grand prix drivers, with Vandoorne previously racing for McLaren and Gutierrez for Sauber and Haas.
While McLaren use Renault engines, they are switching to Mercedes next season.
Racing Point, owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, already have a close relationship with Mercedes as well as a Mexican driver in Sergio Perez.
Reserve drivers must be ready to stand in if a regular driver is unable to compete due to sickness or injury, a role that has become more in focus this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sport is planning to start the season in carefully-controlled conditions in Austria on 5 July with teams operating in an isolated ‘bubble’ and with frequent testing for the new coronavirus.
Formula One chairman Chase Carey said this week that Formula One would not cancel a race even if a driver returned a positive test.
“We encourage teams to have procedures in place so if an individual has to be put in quarantine, we have the ability to quarantine them at a hotel and to replace that individual,” he said.
“A team not being able to race wouldn’t cancel the race... we will have a procedure in place that finding infection will not lead to a cancellation. If a driver has an infection, (the teams have) reserve drivers available.”
Formula 1: Hamilton 'little bit gutted' to qualify fifth for British GP, chides crowd for booing Verstappen
The seven-time champion Mercedes driver said he had hoped to fight for a front row start in Sunday's race, but was unable to find the pace required in the final minutes of a sodden rain-lashed session.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was very close to Perez ahead of Mercedes duo of George Russell and a revived Lewis Hamilton
Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 and delivered a close competition to Marcedes and Lewis Hamilton in two title battles in 2017 and 2018. However, he finished as the runner-up in both seasons. Later in 2021, he appeared for Aston Martin replacing Sergio Perez.