Idle racing drivers’ mental health at risk - Zlobin
"Drivers are vulnerable people"
A former F1 test driver says he fears for the mental health of fellow racers who are currently sitting on the sidelines amid the pandemic.
"I am afraid that many drivers will be having serious stress and depression," said Sergey Zlobin, who over a decade ago became the first Russian test driver in F1 with a role at Minardi (pictured).
"Drivers are vulnerable people," he told Russia’s Sportbox. "They are a special group of athletes.
"They spend all of their energy, all of their drive on the track - this isolation will greatly affect them."
Zlobin is so worried about the drivers during the global shutdown period that he thinks their pent-up stress will be noticeable once the racing resumes.
"We will see a number of strange accidents and incidents," he said.
The Russian also said that online virtual racing is not a comparable replacement for real Formula 1 and other forms of top motorsport.
"It’s like eating soybeans instead of meat," said Zlobin. "Or I eat steak and you just watch. Will it be delicious to you?
"The big problem is that motorsport is about risk and danger, but where is that in a virtual race? It is complete nonsense."
And finally, Zlobin commented on the news about Dr Helmut Marko reportedly not minding if Red Bull’s F1 drivers become infected with the virus.
"It was said very harshly, but I’m afraid he is somewhat correct," he said.
"If someone with the health of Formula 1 drivers and with a good medical care system gets infected, everything should be ok. These young people basically blow their nose and recover and develop immunity."