F1 season could begin with Austrian GP

According to reports, the 2020 Formula 1 season is set to begin on July 5 with the Austrian GP as part of back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring.

Austrian public radio broadcaster Ö3 reported on Friday, as stated by Grandprix247.com, that an announcement is imminent to confirm that the first race of 2020 will take place at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, with round two taking place at the venue a week later on July 12.

The 2020 Formula 1 season is yet to get underway with the opening nine rounds already off due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced much of the globe into lockdown.

Austria has been impacted less by the virus compared to many other European countries around it – 530 deaths have been confirmed as of April 25.

Officials are confident that the double-header can happen safely and Ö3 said that "only a second wave of infection can prevent Formula 1 in Styria", with the precautions in place.

The roughly 400 track, security and hospitality personnel involved with the Grand Prix have reportedly been tested and cleared for the virus already.

Spectators and independent media will not be in attendance, and all F1 personnel present, of which the number will be limited to under 2000, will have to supply a "negative SARS-CoV-2 certificate" so that they don’t bring the virus with them.

The calendar after Austria remains very much in doubt – while up to three races at Silverstone to follow were mentioned, it’s unlikely this would happen with the virus continuing to impact the United Kingdom with the death rate now nearly at 20 000.

- TEAMtalk media

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