Start in Spielberg: Formula 1 in the emergency gear

Berlin (dpa) – Within five months, Formula 1 wants to choose the world champion of the Corona year 2020 in a hurry, the stages of the European tour are now fixed. The premier class of motorsport published the emergency calendar for at least the first eight races on the old continent.

As expected after approval by the Austrian Ministry of Health, the record mission of Lewis Hamilton starts with a Grand Prix double pack in front of a ghost backdrop on July 5 and 12 in Spielberg at the Red Bull Ring.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked tirelessly with all of our partners, the Fia and the teams, to create a calendar to start with, which allows us to start under conditions that are as safe as possible,” said CEO Chase Carey in the message. In addition to Formula 1, Formula 2 with Mick Schumacher will also be starting according to the new calendar.

In total, the Formula 1 makers want to stage 15 to 18 races this year – 22 were in the original calendar and thus more than ever in the history of Formula 1. According to current planning, Germany remains with the Hockenheimring initially outside, as a possible replacement, the course is still traded in North Baden. According to the regulations, there must be at least eight races in order to be able to choose a world champion at the end. With fewer than 15 races, TV revenue would be reduced.

Should Hamilton in the Mercedes be back as champion in the end, the 35-year-old Briton would set Michael Schumacher’s (51) record, which had long been considered unattainable, with seven titles. In order to catch up with German this year after victories, Hamilton would have to win seven races. Theoretically, this can already happen on the European tour at the end of August.

After the start in Styria, the third race on three consecutive weekends will take place on July 19 at the Hungaroring near Budapest, before Hamilton starts in his British home on August 2 and 9. According to media reports, the government of the Kingdom makes an exception for the Formula 1 team and refrains from the two-week self-isolation on entry.

Pilots and equipment are immediately brought to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona by Silverstone. The Grand Prix of Spain will be made up there on August 16, ending the second triple pack.

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As planned in the actual record calendar, the race will take place in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on August 30, and the Ferrari home race in Monza will be held on September 6. Those responsible there are also planning a ghost race for the time being. Carey hopes, however, that viewers will be admitted again as soon as the situation is safe again.

For the Scuderia, the Italian guest appearance will, according to statistics, be the 999th Grand Prix participation in Formula 1 history. It is not yet clear where Ferrari will celebrate the 1000th, it could be Baku in Azerbaijan. For Sebastian Vettel, a win beforehand in the Royal Park, where he celebrated the first of his 53 career successes in Toro Rosso in 2008, could make farewell to Ferrari a little more forgiving after the season – even if he will probably have to do without the euphoric Tifosi.

How it will go to Monza overseas is not yet clear. However, it is assumed, among other things, that the premiere in Hanoi will be made up for in November. Media recently reported that the Vietnam Grand Prix should only be accessible to local viewers. The Brazilian Grand Prix in São Paulo, where the pandemic is particularly raging, is said to take place in November with spectators without further restrictions, according to the organizer. Doubts remain about these plans.

It is also due to the safety and hygiene concept that Formula One is allowed to start again after months of compulsory pause, in which devices to support the fight against the corona virus have been manufactured in factories instead of engines and chassis. After the start on March 15th in Melbourne was canceled shortly before the first training session because of a Corona case with the McLaren team, only a maximum of 80 employees per team are allowed to come to the track.

Each racing team is housed in a separate hotel. The usual motorhomes, which are mainly built on the European routes, should not exist. Before entering the country, drivers and the rest of the staff must be tested on the Sars-CoV-2. “We have to create an environment that is itself a small bubble of isolation,” said Formula 1 director Ross Brawn.

An overview:

5th JulyAustriaSpielberg
July 12AustriaSpielberg
July 19HungaryBudapest
August 2ndGreat BritainSilverstone
August 9thGreat BritainSilverstone
August 16SpainBarcelona
August 30thBelgiumSpa Francorchamps
September 6thItalyMonza

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