- Formula One’s delayed season will finally get underway at the start of July
- Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 has got the green light to kick-start the season
- The Spielberg circuit will also stage another F1 race the following weekend
- Both of the July races in Austria will be staged without any spectators present
Formula One’s truncated season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5.The season has been heavily delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but is now set to kick off behind closed doors in just over a month’s time.
The Spielberg circuit has also been given the green light to stage a second race the following weekend
‘The two Formula One races on July 5 and 12 at Spielberg will be staged without spectators,’ said Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober on Saturday.
He added that the two races had been approved after F1 organisers ‘had presented a complete and professional plan’ to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The F1 season was thrown into chaos with the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in March only hours before practice was due to begin.
It was one of 10 races either cancelled or postponed, yet F1 boss Chase Carey has insisted that a 15-18 race season is still possible.
But Silverstone’s hopes of also staging back-to-back races after Austria are in the balance after the British government insisted that all arrivals in the country undergo a two-week quarantine period.
The 2020 Dutch Grand Prix, which was set to make its glorious return for the first time in 35 years, is the latest race to be pulled from the F1 calendar.
F1 bosses maintain hope that more races can be held without spectators in Europe in the months after the Austrian GP before moving to circuits in Asia, the Middle East and Americas.