F1 News: Racing Point says starting 2020 season in Austria is realistic

Racing Point Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes it is realistic to get the new season underway in Austria at the beginning of July

F1 News: Racing Point says starting 2020 season in Austria is realistic

F1 officials are working to find a way to get the 2020 campaign together in the coming months after the opening 10 races were called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Efforts are being made for the Austrian Grand Prix to go ahead behind closed doors on its scheduled date of 5 July at the Red Bull Ring, starting what could still be an 18-race season.

Racing Point team boss Szafnauer said that so long as the paddock personnel could be tested and cleared for COVID-19, starting the season in Austria was a realistic option.

"I think so," Szafnauer told CNN.

"If Austria do a very good job as a country to contain the spread of the virus into July, and there's testing available for all of the Formula 1 employees or participants to actually test, I think it's plausible to put on a race in early July.

"If by sometime in June, we say yes, it's on, it's happening, we're safe to go.

"I think all the teams will be able to make it, no problem."

F1 confirmed on Monday it had identified Austria as the most probable season opener, starting a swing of European races behind closed doors through July, August and September.

This would be followed by events across Asia and the Americas through late autumn before ending the season with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.

Officials in the Styria region where the Red Bull Ring is located have been in regular talks with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko over the viability of the race going ahead.

The Austrian government has said it will not "stand in the way" of any race taking place, but stressed the teams and other F1 personnel would need to adhere to strict guidelines when entering and exiting the country.

Hermann Schützenhöfer, the governor of Styria, has expressed his support for the race being held at the Red Bull Ring, believing it would be a boost for the region to put on such an event safely.

"Of course I support the idea of Formula 1 at Red Bull Ring coming to Styria even this year," Schützenhöfer told Austrian press agency APA last week.

"We must not lose our positive attitude during the crisis.

"It would be wonderful to send images from an exciting grand prix, as well as the beautiful images from the Murtal region around the world, at least via TV."

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly said it would be "amazing" to get the season underway in Austria, but had received no additional information beyond what is known publicly about the chances of it happening.

"If it does happen at the beginning of July and we could start the season, that would be amazing," Gasly told the Sky Sports F1 Vodcast.

"It seems quite difficult in terms of organisation just to make it happen, but I think if the season starts at the beginning of July, it still gives us some time to make some decent number of races to the end of the year, and that would be great."

shares
comments
F1 News: Catalunya circuit open to hosting summer Spanish F1 GP
Previous article

F1 News: Catalunya circuit open to hosting summer Spanish F1 GP

Next article

Motorsport Heroes: Hakkinen on his Macau 1990 clash with Schumacher

Motorsport Heroes: Hakkinen on his Macau 1990 clash with Schumacher
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021