The introduction of the robots is another COVID-19 prevention measure aimed at limiting social contact as much as possible. The robots carry trophies to the drivers in what makes for a bit of a comical scene. Lewis Hamilton gave his opinion on podium robots and Formula 1’s “new normal”.
“I thought it was weird,” Hamilton said.
“It definitely seemed weird. I’d have preferred them just to throw it to me or something. In all honesty, it’s a really, really weird time.
“Whilst you’re in the work zone, everything seems normal, and when you’re driving and you’re racing, at this particular track, there’s quite a big distance between the grandstands, the fans, so it’s not as easy to see them, particularly on the infield section.
“On the pit straight you can. It really, really hit me, when I came out at the end there, when you get out of the car, and no atmosphere.
“You miss the fans. It just shows how the fans make a big difference. I really, really missed it for that moment.
“That’s usually something you share with those that follow you, and those that don’t follow you, and we don’t have that.
“The boxes arriving with the trophy, it just feels odd. Definitely a bit OTT in my view, since everyone here has been tested, and wears gloves and all that kind of stuff.”
Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, however, thinks the robots are “pretty cool”.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said the Finn.
“I saw them already in the F3 or F2 race, I saw that you know drivers have to go and pick it up from the robots.
“Standard podium, it just comes to your hand, so it’s pretty cool.”