What is the Styrian Grand Prix? F1's second Austrian race explained

After Formula 1 belatedly returned to action from its COVID-induced shutdown, the championship enters into another new scenario with this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix

What is the Styrian Grand Prix? F1's second Austrian race explained

Valtteri Bottas claimed victory in the Austrian Grand Prix in a hectic race which saw Lewis Hamilton demoted from second to fourth place due to a five-second time penalty for clashing with Red Bull's Alexander Albon.

That promoted Ferrari's Charles Leclerc into the runner-up position while Lando Norris became the third youngest F1 podium finisher as he grabbed third place for McLaren.

With the Red Bull Ring hosting the opening two races of the 2020 F1 campaign, the teams and drivers are staying put for the second race, called the Styrian GP, which will take place at the same circuit - a first in F1 history.

What is the Styrian Grand Prix?

Due to numerous race postponements and cancellations, F1 bosses have been forced to shake up the 2020 calendar with at least the opening eight rounds taking place without fans.

As part of the solution to bulk out F1's truncated campaign, the Red Bull Ring will host two races that will take place on consecutive weekends.

With the traditional Austrian GP acting as the 2020 opener, a second race at the Red Bull Ring will take place on the following weekend with the same format and schedule in place.

Why is it called the Styrian Grand Prix?

With each F1 grand prix requiring different names across a season, the series is familiar with using unusual race titles over the years. From Imola hosting the San Marino Grand Prix despite not being located in the microstate, to the inventively named Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas, F1 has often adopted different race names when countries have hosted more than one grand prix in a season.

Having just hosted the 2020 Austrian GP, the Red Bull Ring's second race is called the Styrian Grand Prix, named after the region the circuit is located in.

Confusingly, the official hashtag to be used for the race by F1 is still the #AustrianGP despite the race being called the Styrian GP.

Which other tracks are holding two races?

The Red Bull Ring isn't the only circuit hosting multiple F1 races this season, with Silverstone thrashing out a deal to host a pair of consecutive races next month. The British Grand Prix takes place on 2 August with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on the 9 August - the latter set to celebrate the start of the F1 world championship at the circuit which hosted its first race back in 1950.

With only the opening eight rounds confirmed so far, Italy looks set to host multiple F1 races this season with both Imola and Mugello tipped to hold rounds later this year. While those races remain unconfirmed, it points towards the return of the San Marino GP plus a special Ferrari anniversary race at Mugello.

Has F1 ever held two races at the same track in a season?

In the history of the F1 world championship, no circuit has ever hosted two points-paying races in one season. But in the years of non-championship races, circuits would occasionally be revisited across one year but only one would be considered an F1 world championship grand prix.

Why is Formula 1 racing at the same track twice?

With the world still remerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in travel restrictions and different protocols and quarantine rules in each country, so far seven rounds of the original 2020 F1 calendar have already been officially cancelled for this year.

F1 bosses are still targeting at least 15 races this season and have taken early steps to bulk out its calendar by running double-headers at both the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone.

While no further double races have been confirmed, F1 is considering back to back races in Bahrain, but rather than sticking to the same circuit layout it would use the familiar Sakhir track layout for one race and an 'oval' track for its second round.

2020 Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix session timings

F1 will still run its traditional format of two free practice sessions lasting 90 minutes each on Friday, followed by an additional practice session running for one hour on Saturday morning.

The Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout-style qualifying format is also being retained on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid for the 71-lap Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup series are all acting as support classes.

Friday 10th July 2020
Free Practice 1: 10:00am-11:30am BST (11:00am-12:30pm local)
Free Practice 2: 2:00pm-3:30pm BST (3:00pm-4:30pm local)

Saturday 11th July 2020
Free Practice 3: 11:00am-12:00pm BST (12:00pm-1:00pm local)
Qualifying: 2:00pm-3:00pm BST (3:00pm-4:00pm local)

Sunday 12th July 2020
Race: 2:10pm BST (3:10pm local)

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