Formula One considering closed races once season starts

Ruben Hill
April 9, 2020

Formula One boss Ross Brawn says the 2020 season will likely begin behind closed doors in Europe after the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Eight races is the minimum we can have a world championship, the FIA Statutes", Brawn told Sky Sports.

"If you wanted a drop-dead point (deadline), it would be October", Brawn said.

"But then there's always the possibility we could run into next year.and that's being explored, could we stray into January to finish the season". It would be tough - three races on, one weekend off, three races on, one weekend off.

Austrian Grand Prix officials have confirmed to GPFans that there are now no plans to postpone or cancel the July race. "It's a very dynamic and volatile situation", he said.

Race organizers said in a statement that they were "saddened" to postpone the race and that the decision was made in consultation with Formula One and representatives from the city of Montreal, Tourism Montreal and provincial and federal governments. "As previously announced we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April to race during the normal summer break period, and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29th November".

"At the moment we're looking at the logistics of a closed race, how would we get the people there, how would we protect them, how would we make it safe, who would we allow into the paddock", he said. "But I think that normal racing drivers would simply have no chance against die-hard sim racers".

"I think we have to remember there's millions of people that follow the sport sat at be able to put on a sport and entertain people would be a huge bonus with this crisis we have".

The French Grand Prix, now scheduled for June 28, is the first meeting that has yet to be postponed, but Brawn thinks a July start date is more feasible and it could be "self-contained", without fans in attendance. "There are all sorts of complications, as you can imagine, with that".

Binotto acknowledged that two-day meetings were already under discussion and Brawn revealed F1 was considering a potentially punishing schedule to maximise the number of meetings. But we can't put anyone at risk. There's no point having a start and then stopping again for a while. "It's conceivable that it could be a closed event". "For instance China looks like it will probably be a two-day race if we go ahead with it because to get there and get away to the next event we are planning, it could easily be a two-day race".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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