Norris: F1 races feel "more like Formula Renault" without fans

Grands Prix have felt more like Formula Renault events than Formula 1 thanks to a lack of fans this year, reckons McLaren's Lando Norris

Norris: F1 races feel "more like Formula Renault" without fans

No spectators have been allowed in to F1 races held so far this year in a bid to minimise the risks to public health amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It means that only staff essential to the running of the grand prix are present, with around 2000 people at each of the first three events held so far.

Norris says that he has missed having fans there, and thinks their absence will hit him especially hard at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

"I've missed them a lot, I've missed the whole atmosphere from them," he said, when asked by Autosport about what it has been like to run in front of empty grandstands.

"You know, it feels a lot more like a race in Formula Renault where you go and there's not that many fans. Or like, sometimes Formula Three: you go to the race tracks and there just aren't many fans.

"And it's almost a bit like karting in some ways, where you just go there to race rather than to put on a great show for anyone. So it is weird.

'And it's something that every driver, I'm sure even the engineers and mechanics, they miss the atmosphere from it all and seeing the emotion from the fans."

Norris says that he thinks the situation will be especially noticeable at Silverstone over the next two weeks, as he reckoned the absence of fans will rob it of a 'home race' feel.

"It makes it even worse knowing that I've got two races at my home track where it would have been amazing to have all the fans there," he said.

"After last year, it was such an awesome experience to go there for my first home race.

"To go up to the campsites and go on the fan stage in front of the thousands and thousands of people. It was awesome.

"So it's really something I'm going to miss. And in some ways, they're the people that make it a home race.

"Otherwise in a lot of ways it's just another race on the calendar.

"Yes it is your home track. But the reason we call it and we're so excited about the home race is because of the fans, not because it's just a track where you can travel back home and sleep in your own bed in the evening.

"So it's going to feel weird and it has felt weird. And I look forward to when we get the opportunity to welcome the fans back."

shares
comments
FIA explains how Honda worked through F1's lockdown period

Previous article

FIA explains how Honda worked through F1's lockdown period

Next article

F1's 70 greatest influencers: the 1960s

F1's 70 greatest influencers: the 1960s
Load comments
How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator Plus

How Ferrari has brought the best from F1’s smooth operator

As a young boy, Carlos Sainz was schooled by his father in the special folklore surrounding Ferrari in Formula 1. Now an established grand prix ace – and a Ferrari driver to boot – Sainz opens up to BEN ANDERSON about driving for the team of his childhood hero, and of his own boyhood dreams

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars Plus

How Hungarian GP thriller sounded alarm bell for F1 2022 cars

OPINION: The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix may not have been a thrill-a-minute overtaking fest, but it's a race that will live long in the memory as one of the best of the current era of Formula 1. And as F1 moves to regulations in 2022 aimed at boosting overtaking, Hungary showed the balance it must strike with its new machinery as not to deny similarly tense spectacles

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Plus

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2021
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021