F1 to return July 5 with two races at the Austrian GP

Associated Press



PARIS — Formula One will finally get underway with back-to-back races at the Austrian Grand Prix in July as part of an eight-race European swing.

The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, will host races on July 5 and 12, governing body FIA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The next race will be in Hungary on July 19 followed by consecutive races at the British GP at Silverstone on Aug. 2 and 9 after the British government exempted elite sports from an upcoming quarantine on foreign visitors.

Further races are scheduled for Spain on Aug. 16 and Belgium on Aug. 30, with Italy completing the European swing on Sept. 6.

“Over the past two months Formula One has been working closely with all partners, authorities, the FIA and the 10 teams to create a revised calendar that will allow a return to racing in a way that is safe,” the FIA said. "Due to the ongoing fluidity of the COVID-19 situation internationally, the details of the wider calendar will be finalized in the coming weeks.”

There will be no spectators allowed to attend, although there may be later in the year if health conditions allow it.

“It is currently expected that the opening races will be closed events,” the FIA said. "But it is hoped fans will be able to join events again when it is safe to do so.”

Four races have been canceled this season because of the coronavirus pandemic — the season-opening Australian GP, the Monaco GP, the French GP and the Netherlands GP.

F1 remains hopeful of holding 15-18 of the scheduled 22 races by rearranging the six that were postponed and finishing the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.

Just as recently as last month, there remained the possibility that there would be no 2020 F1 season at all. Like many other series, F1 drivers turned to virtual racing to keep sharp during the shutdown

“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula One,” F1 chairman Chase Carey said. “We know the return of Formula One will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is excited about kicking off the season in Austria.

“We are pleased to be starting ... at our home circuit. It has been a huge effort by all involved and the two events at the Red Bull Ring will be a blueprint for all other races to follow,” Horner said.

"With the first eight races of the calendar now confirmed we have some positive momentum. As a race team and racers, we are excited to get going again and put on a show for our fans.”

The FIA and F1 are working together on a plan to have strict safety measures in place at the races.

As well as initially holding races without fans, other measures will be used to limit risk.

Any personnel attending a race will be tested for COVID-19 before traveling and must have a negative result. Regular testing will take place during the race weekend.

There will be a significant reduction in the numbers of people attending from teams, officials and suppliers. Those attending must stay within their own working group and not interact with other groups.

Travel restrictions will see charter flights used as much as possible and private transfers between venues, hotels and airports to prevent interaction with the general public.

Social distancing measures will be observed inside the paddock for activities such as the national anthem, the podium ceremony and media interviews.

You Might Also Like



More From

  • Federal judge throws out GM's racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler

    A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a racketeering lawsuit General Motors had filed against smaller rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, saying the No. 1 U.S. automaker's alleged injuries were not caused by FCA's alleged violations. GM officials said in statement they "strongly disagree" with the order by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman, whom the automaker had sought to have removed from the case, and would appeal. "There is more than enough evidence from the guilty pleas of former FCA executives to conclude that the company engaged in racketeering, our complaint was timely and showed in detail how their multi-million dollar bribes caused direct harm to GM," GM said in a statement.

  • Elon Musk approaches $1.8 billion bonanza

    Tesla's blistering stock rally is putting Chief Executive Elon Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months. Fueled by stronger-than-expected car deliveries, shares of Tesla have surged over 40% in the past seven sessions, elevating the company's market capitalization to $259 billion. More important for Musk's personal finances, Tesla's six-month average market capitalization has reached a record $138 billion.

  • Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell semi truck reports for duty in Europe

    Hyundai has a relatively long history with and apparent resolute dedication to hydrogen. Today, its latest and greatest hydrogen effort is in the realm of commercial vehicles. Hyundai has announced that it is sending the first 10 of its new Xcient Fuel Cell semi trucks to Switzerland, where they will go to work moving goods while creating no harmful emissions.

  • 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid priced at $75,895

    The 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e PHEV slots into the A7 lineup as the fuel efficient detour between the standard, 48-volt mild-hybrid A7 and the amped-up S7. The Ingolstadt automaker typically offers Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims, but the PHEV skips the entry-level Premium step. Audi figures all A7 PHEV models could claw back as much as $6,712 in federal tax credits.