Canadian GP 'impossible' without Ferrari but Red Bull still hopeful for Austria

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Holding a Canadian Grand Prix without Ferrari is "impossible", ex-IndyCar and ChampCar driver Patrick Carpentier claims.

The Formula 1 race in Montreal is currently the first scheduled to go ahead this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but is expected to be postponed when a final decision is made this week.

But while most are worrying about the risk from COVID-19 and other factors in making their decision, for Carpentier, simply the thought of F1 with no Ferrari's on the grid is sufficient to call it off.

“Ferrari is an important part of F1, so if they cancelled Melbourne because McLaren was affected by the coronavirus, they will not come to Montreal because Ferrari will not be there,” he told Fox Sports.

“Right now, it would be very, very, very frowned upon for Ferrari to go racing while nearly 1,000 people die there every day.

“I hope that the race will happen, but in my opinion it is impossible.”

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The Scuderia does, of course, enjoy a huge following in Canada, thanks to their affiliation with Gilles Villeneuve after whom the circuit of the Il de Notre Dame is named.

But if Ferrari is unable to leave due to the situation in Italy, then customer teams Haas and Alfa Romeo likely wouldn't be able to race either, nor would Faenza-based AlphaTauri or Pirelli.

After Montreal is the French GP on June 28, followed by the Austrian GP on June 5 and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is remaining coy on whether that race will go ahead.

"You have to wait and see, we are not alone in the world," he told Motorsport-Magazin.

"In that case, we could organize it, but it wouldn't help if travel restrictions in the rest of Europe are such that no one could enter without being quarantined.

"The situation is generally better, but neither a cancellation or a confirmation is possible at the moment."

Marko explained how Red Bull can be flexible in making a decision due to the ability to quickly reopen their circuit in Spielberg and adds it would also be open to joining Silverstone in hosting multiple races if needed.

"The possibility is there because we have a ready-to-use system," he said.

"It's a matter of negotiation with Liberty, but it would also depend on how things would be in the rest of Europe."