Coronavirus pandemic offers 'opportunity for F1 to change,' says Nico Hulkenberg

Nine-year Formula One veteran Nico Hulkenberg believes the enforced break the sport is having to undergo because of the coronavirus pandemic offers the perfect time to make some changes.

Posted: May 6, 2020 7:01 AM
Updated: May 6, 2020 7:01 AM

Nine-year Formula 1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg believes the enforced break the sport is having to undergo because of the coronavirus pandemic offers the perfect time to make some changes.

The start of the 2020 season has been delayed, with the first 10 races of the season being either postponed or canceled because of safety concerns around the spread of Covid-19.

But for Hulkenberg, who doesn't have a seat in F1 for the 2020 season, the time without racing offers an "opportunity for F1 to change a few things."

"It's obviously real and a lot of industries and companies and corporations are struggling," the 32-year-old told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies over Instagram Live.

"And I think there will be some consequences. But I also think it's an opportunity for F1 to change a few things, talking about budgets there and certain types of regulations. So I see it also as an opportunity and, hopefully, it will come up with some good answers and (I) hope that everyone survives that and that we can return to good, proper racing after this."

READ: Ferrari star Charles Leclerc as talented at racing esports as he is at the real thing

A more entertaining sport

One of the innovations that will be introduced for the 2021 season is the budget cap that will limit the amount teams can spend.

Originally set at $175m, F1's managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn announced it will be reduced by $30m per team. "The sport looks to cut costs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic."

Hulkenberg thinks a cap is "one very good step to bringing everyone more together in the future."

"I think once it is implemented, it won't be immediate because the top teams will still have some advantage they will carry forward for some time. But it's just a fairer and level playing field."

While some believe Formula E threatens the future of F1, people involved in the sport aren't concerned.

Creating a more "attractive" sport will help it draw in new viewers and grow, according to Hulkenberg.

"Racing is racing, but of course it's entertainment and races just need to be really entertaining. We had some stunning races like Hockenheim last year," he remembers.

"(It was) dramatic. Fights left, right, center; you didn't know where to watch first. And there were a couple of those. And then sometimes you had really dull races.

"So we just need good average races that are entertaining to watch all the time, a lot of close wheel-to-wheel racing, and then I think naturally the sport will get more attractive because people enjoy watching that, they enjoy watching us fighting as much as we do as well."

Despite finding himself without a car for the season, Hulkenberg still has plans to return to the track.

He's had been linked to a move across to Formula E or joining Ferrari but has ruled both out.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

A move to the Italian giants would only happen in his "next life," according to the German.

And despite not racing this season -- Hulkenberg is excited to watch the races "as a fan" -- the time away from racing has only made him hungrier to return in 2021.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357526

Reported Deaths: 4284
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah55810707
Washington38782324
Marion36837455
Clackamas29779309
Lane27744302
Jackson23059310
Deschutes20336125
Umatilla14492150
Linn12911131
Douglas12118243
Josephine9384196
Yamhill8715113
Klamath8020119
Polk737381
Malheur563677
Benton549431
Coos503794
Columbia382644
Jefferson376052
Lincoln319939
Union319549
Crook291846
Wasco288841
Clatsop244328
Baker203529
Tillamook196932
Hood River192837
Morrow185023
Curry180625
Harney113927
Grant100013
Lake93912
Wallowa68612
Gilliam1544
Sherman1523
Wheeler1121
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4852216

Reported Deaths: 71350
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148510526549
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3678574183
San Bernardino3586775692
Orange3242885562
Sacramento1596362309
Kern1463481648
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921400
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen754347
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Brookings
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 45°
Crater Lake
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 41°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 35°
Klamath Falls
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
More rain expected overnight into Monday, winds starting to weaken
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events