Formula 1, as well as tennis, is one of the sports that are still stuck due to the Coronavirus emergency. The 'F1 Circus' is expected to kick off in July from Austria, but in the meantime, the various drivers had fun competing in virtual races.
So far 11 pilots have ventured into this specialty, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc having attracted the attention of the media and fans most of all. Former world champion Nico Rosberg has made an interesting parallel between Formula 1 and tennis (citing Roger Federer) to explain that the drivers involved in the virtual races will have a slight advantage when the Circus is resumed.
Rosberg on Roger Federer
“If I was still racing I would be in the simulator every single day, spending hours in there,” said Rosberg during the broadcast of the virtual Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday. “I’m convinced that it is still going to help you a tiny bit to keep training your skills.
Imagine Roger Federer, if he didn’t train on a tennis court for like five months, on the first day back he would be nowhere, and the skill [level] for an F1 driver is the same. I think in the simulator you have a small chance of training some of that skill and keeping the level up, and therefore I would be maximising it.
It’ll be interesting to see. We see some drivers are doing it more than others and I wonder whether they might have an advantage when the racing gets going again. I would bet on that: that they would have an advantage. I remember so vividly my first outing after the winter break, and the winter break was three months long only and this is now five months, so the winter break was always much shorter.
And the first run out you can just feel how your capacity and your mind is just so much less, you’re just maxed out trying to drive fast, you have no capacity left to memorise things or work on the settings. You just feel rusty.
And those guys are going to be feeling it too, so I’m sure every little bit will help, even going go-karting like Lando [Norris] is doing, and I think the guys that are really trying to do their best in preparation are really going to have an advantage" - Nico Rosberg added.
Returning to tennis, both circuits are suspended at least until July 31st and in the next few days there will be more certain information on the tournaments scheduled for August. Needless to say, much will depend on the USTA's decision on the US Open, which could represent a real crossroads for this unrepeatable and troubled 2020 season.
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