Daniel Ricciardo has thrown his support behind a plan for Formula One to race at iconic Italian circuit Mugello, as the sport looks to cobble together a disrupted 2020 race calendar.
Several races have been cancelled due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but the F1 season is due to restart this weekend in Austria, albeit without fans at the track.
'DIDN’T EVEN KNOW': Widow's startling admission about Peter Brock's death
'NOT MY FAULT I'M WHITE': Ex-F1 boss defends racism view
An altered calendar will see F1 host eight races across Europe in 10 weeks, with back-to-back races to be held in Austria and Great Britain.
One additional race would be added to that stretch, with Ferrari-owned circuit Mugello mooted as an additional grand prix following the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Renault driver Ricciardo, who will depart the French team for McLaren next season, said he loved the idea of racing at Mugello.
“That was a circuit I raced back in 2007 for the first time, and it was my favourite circuit that season,” Ricciardo told motorsport.com.
“I loved just the flowing, high-speed corners and I think in F1, it would be amazing.
“We had a test there, I think it was back in 2012, in F1.
“The cars now, these 2020 cars around there, would be insane. So yeah, I’m certainly excited if that one takes place.”
F1 champ’s bold stand on Austria racing return
Britain's Lewis Hamilton is proudly Formula One's first black driver so it's only fitting the six-time world champion's new-look Mercedes reflects his passion for the fight against racism.
The 35-year-old will take to the track in Austria this weekend with a special all-new black liveried car for the 2020 Formula One season.
Mercedes unveiled the new design on their social media page with a message about the team’s "commitment to fighting racism and discrimination in all its forms".
F1 emerges from its coronavirus-enforced three-month hiatus in Austria this weekend to a markedly changed world, with the killing of African-American George Floyd in US police custody last month triggering outrage and a global anti-racism movement.
Introducing our new 2020 livery 🖤 A pledge to improve the diversity of our team and our sport, and a signal of the Team’s commitment to fighting racism and discrimination in all its forms. pic.twitter.com/ZYzCsFl6Mv— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) June 29, 2020
Hamilton, the only black driver on the F1 grid, has established a commission which hopes to steer more black youngsters into motor racing.
Mercedes in a statement noted that "in our organisation, just three percent of our workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups and only 12% of our employees are women".
"This lack of diversity shows that we need to find new approaches to attract talent from many areas of society we do not currently reach," it added.