Austrian Grand Prix 2020 : Formula 1 will get an unusual start to its 2020-2021 season when drivers and cars line up at Austria’s Red Bull Ring for 2 races on July 5 and 12. Four months late, with no fans within the stands but possibly a couple of cows looking on.
The Austrian government gave the go-ahead for the races last month, but under strict health and safety conditions which will require the teams to undergo regular testing.
This will be the primary time the tiny alpine country hosts a double-header as F1 tries to form up for lost races in what’s likely to be a disjointed and truncated season.
Formula 1 was one among the primary major sports to be hit by COVID-19, with organizers of the Shanghai Grand Prix announcing in mid-February that they were postponing their event, set for April, amid the growing epidemic in China.
Teams still traveled to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March, but it had been called off at the eleventh hour over health and safety concerns, after several team members had to be quarantined and teams complained about the risks.
F1 races within the Netherlands, Monaco, Azerbaijan and France were then scrapped, while those in Bahrain, Vietnam and Canada were postponed. The Singapore and Japanese Grand Prix , scheduled for later within the year, were also called off.
As a result, F1’s 2020-2021 season will debut at the Red Bull Ring within the southern Austrian countryside.
The two races, persisted back-to-back weekends, begin an F1 calendar that has just eight dates at the instant compared to the first 22, with the remainder of the season still up within the air.
Strict rules are put in situ to avoid any contagion as teams travel in from different countries.
The races are going to be held without spectators and teams are drastically reduced. Drivers and team personnel had to supply a negative test for COVID-19 before traveling and that they also will need to undergo regular testing upon arrival. Social distancing are going to be required as far as possible, with only essential staff allowed on the circuit. Drivers and teams have also been advised to work in “bubbles,” to limit contact with others.
Part of Austria’s appeal because the start line of the season had to try to to with the race track’s relatively isolated location.
Austria has generally brought the epidemic in check after registering a peak in cases in late March. After two months of lockdown, much of the country has reopened, although safety precautions and social distancing publicly places are still encouraged. Other sports have also picked up again, with the Austrian league resuming matches earlier this month, without spectators.