Apr.16 (GMM) Amid a sea of cancellations, postponements and speculation, it appears that Austria might be able to rescue F1 by hosting the first races of 2020.
While the first nine races have all fallen by the wayside, and the next round of postponements seems to loom for France, Britain and Belgium, the Austrian government says it will “at least not stand in the way” of its grand prix.
That race, at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, is promoted by Red Bull.
Zandvoort, which would have been the scene of the Dutch GP this year, has ruled out staging a race behind closed doors without spectators.
But Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko has said the Spielberg track could proceed without fans and even host multiple races.
And according to Austrian sport minister Werner Kogler, the government will “at least not stand in the way of a grand prix in Spielberg without spectators”.
He said in Vienna that it will be up to the “responsible motorsport associations” to “see whether it works out or not”.
Kogler admitted that it may be problematic for Red Bull and Formula 1, and not because of social distancing but because of the restrictions on travel.
“If there is a need for an exemption here or there, I don’t want to prejudge it,” he said, raising the prospect of quarantines or testing certificates for those who need to get into and out of Austria.
“But in principle, Formula 1 has signalled to me that it could work out from their point of view.”