F1 season to open July 5 in Austria

F1 season to open July 5 in Austria

Spielberg circuit cleared for racing on two successive weekends

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas steers his car during a qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg in 2018. (AFP File Photo)
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas steers his car during a qualifying session for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg in 2018. (AFP File Photo)

VIENNA: Formula One’s truncated coronavirus-hit season will finally get under way with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, the Austrian government announced on Saturday.

The Spielberg circuit has also been given 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,” said Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.

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

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

It was one of 10 races either cancelled or postponed, yet F1 boss Chase Carey has insisted that a season of 15 to 18 races is still possible.

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


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