No coronavirus fears - Red Bull still planning to host Austrian GP

Dr Helmut Marko says race promoter Red Bull wants July's Austrian GP to go ahead.

The opening seven races of 2020 have already been postponed or cancelled, and now Baku is set to join them.

As for the Red Bull-promoted Austrian GP, though, Marko told Osterreich: "Our marketing activities will start in mid-May.  We are keeping our plans."

Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz has also told all staff members at the Red Bull Ring that they will be paid in full during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Marko said he supports the decision to scrap the 2021 regulations for now.

He said: "That makes a lot of sense. All the teams are facing a loss of revenue. If five races are cancelled, that's 100 million lost. At least now we have stable regulations.  If we freeze that, the costs drop enormously and the regulation change will happen under the budget cap."

A global surprise

Marko says the global coronavirus crisis took the world by surprise.

He adds: "Nobody had such a scenario in mind with all the economic risks. I cannot imagine that the economy will last for long even with the aid packages. Corona has shown us how drastically vulnerable our economic system is to globalisation.

"We also have to be careful that the mood of the population does not change."

Until recently, he was playing down the situation, but Marko still thinks it is being badly mismanaged in parts.

Marko continues: "In the park, people are warned about standing with two other people while people in the supermarket fight over goods in the aisle. Insane."

READ: FIA, Liberty Media explain course of action following Monaco GP cancellation

But the former racing driver insists he is not scared, even though he is 76.

He insists: "No. If you survive Dubai airport, where people are coughing and spitting in a confined space, then as a person in the so-called high risk group, I will not let my life be completely restricted. I'm in great shape. Luckily we have very good medical care, I just need to be careful with using the chainsaw in the forest so I don't have to go to hospital, which is certainly the most dangerous place at the moment.

"I hope that situation after Easter will be significantly better and life can quickly return to a normal level."

As for the prospect of an actual race calendar, Marko said: "I see an opportunity for Baku and Canada looks good too. By then, hopefully things have calmed down in Europe and there is more positivity in the population through positive events. I expect 17 or 18 races."

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