F1 receives the green light to start the season with the double title of the Austrian GP

F1 receives the green light to start the season with the double title of the Austrian GP

The Red Bull Ring race at the Spielberg circuit will be the first of a double F1 title, with the second taking place next weekend.

Both races will be held behind closed doors without spectators, a statement released to CNN was confirmed.

Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anshober said the two races had been approved after Formula One organizers “presented a comprehensive professional safety plan” to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“In addition to strict hygiene measures, the plan also provides regular health checks and tests for the teams and all other employees,” he added.

The relatively remote location of the Red Bull Ring and a nearby local airport have made it the ideal location for F1 in current circumstances, while infection rates and fewer than 700 deaths in Austria have been relatively smaller. than in other European countries.

Chaotic start

The green light for the action to start will be a relief to F1 organizers and teams after the start of the 2020 season fell into chaos with the last minute cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix in March, just hours before start of practice. .

Melbourne was the first of 10 races canceled or postponed, but F1 chief Chase Carey said he believes a 15-18 season can still be completed.

When it starts, Lewis Hamilton will be vying for a record-breaking seventh F1 world title, but his hopes of being able to compete in front of his home crowd in a double header from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after Austrian races still persist. the balance.

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In a sign of hope, the British government gave the go-ahead on Saturday for the resumption of competitive sport starting Monday at the latest.

“It is up to each individual sport to decide exactly when to resume competition. They know their sports better. But soccer, tennis, horse racing, Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby, snooker and others are ready to return to our (TV) shortly, “said Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

But the British government’s insistence that all arrivals in the country undergo a two-week quarantine period could affect plans for the British Grand Prix, unless an exemption is made.

While F1 action has been limited to virtual racing, behind the scenes there has been considerable turmoil with Carlos Sainz replacing Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari by 2021 and Daniel Ricciardo leaving Renault for McLaren.

The smaller teams have also been under considerable financial pressure, and Williams announced earlier this week that it was for sale after suffering a loss of £ 13 million ($ 15.7 million) last year.

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