Formula One 2020 Season To Begin With Austrian Grand Prix In July


Formula One’s truncated coronavirus-hit season will in the end get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, the Austrian government announced on Saturday. The Spielberg circuit has also been provided the green light to stage a second race the following weekend. “The two Formula One races on July 5 and 12 at Spielberg will be staged without spectators,” announced Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.

He said that the two races had been approved after F1 organisers “had presented a total and professional plan” to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The F1 season used to be thrown into chaos with the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in March only hours before practice used to be because of begin.

Melbourne used to be one of 10 races either cancelled or postponed, yet F1 boss Chase Carey believes a 15-18 race season is still conceivable.

But Silverstone’s hopes of also staging back-to-back races after Austria are in the balance after the British government insisted that every one arrivals in the country undergo a two-week quarantine period.

Anschober added a caveat to Saturday’s remark, insisting the season’s belated restart would only go ahead whether all of the health assurances made by F1 were fulfilled.

“Along with strict hygiene measures the plan also involves steady testing and health check-ups for teams and all of the other employees,” he said.

“The an important element would be the near coordination between the organisers and the regional and native health authorities”,” he added.

Its remote location made the Red Bull Ring circuit a “logical” location to stage the season’s first two races, F1 managing director Ross Brawn said this month.

With a native airport, the races will also be held in an lonely surroundings, fundamental in the fight against the pandemic that has killed less than 700 people in Austria, and more than 364,000 worldwide.

‘Austria fits the invoice’

“Some of the logistical challenges is getting everyone tested and cleared to go into the racing surroundings,” Brawn explained in an F1 Nation podcast.

“Once we do that, it’s very appealing to retain everyone in that surroundings, inside that biosphere that we wish to create, for another race.

“Austria fits that invoice very polite. It has a native airport correct next to the circuit, where people can constitution planes into. It is not too near to a metropolis.”

The 2020 F1 season used to be to have featured a record 22 races, now it is set to be one of the most shortest campaigns for over a decade.

Carey outlined the blueprint for the rehashed season this month, involving extra European races through the traditional August break.

“We can then plan to race in Asia and the Americas in September, October, November before finishing in the Gulf in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December,” he said.

He added: “We expect the early a part of the calendar to be races without fans, but we are hoping as a way to allow fans to attend in the latter a part of the year.”

F1’s tentative emergence from coronavirus lockdown follows the path trodden cautiously by other sports.

Germany’s Bundesliga became the first of Europe’s top football leagues to go back this month with Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and England’s Premier League kick-starting their interrupted seasons over the following few weeks.

While there may have been no racing in the past there was plenty going on at the back of the scenes, with Carlos Sainz replacing Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari for 2021 and Daniel Ricciardo joining McLaren.

Provided the massive financial hit teams have taken and the worry that some might go bust, the proposed all-new technical landscape because of be implemented next season has been pushed back to 2022.

And a spending cap of $145 million has been introduced for next year in an attempt to stem the bleeding, with teams like McLaren making remarkable job cuts.

One man itching for the season to start is Lewis Hamilton, who is hoping to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles.

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