The Austrian government says it isn’t against the Red Bull Ring hosting its Formula 1 race in July, as long as the sport can operate within existing coronavirus measures.

With the opening nine F1 races already cancelled or postponed amid the COVID-19 crisis, while the French Grand Prix is under growing pressure after French President Emmanuel Macron said public events would be banned until mid-July, the Austrian round remains provisionally in place to host F1 on July 3-5.

Austrian government officials remain hopeful the race can take place as planned but accepts it must be within “existing restrictions” on health measures covering social distancing and travel bans.

“We don’t want to get in the way,” Werner Kogler, Austria’s Sports Minister and Vice Chancellor, told reporters. “This must then be considered within the framework of the existing restrictions on entry and exit [into the country]. I don’t want to anticipate if an exemption will be needed here or there.”

F1’s biggest hurdles to holding any race remains bans on public events, social distancing enforcement and emergency medical support available.

F1 organisers are weighing up the idea of running races without spectators using a minimal number of team personnel and circuit staff but with current lockdowns and travel bans in place across large parts of the world no races can realistically take place until restrictions are lifted.

F1 is aiming to start its 2020 season in July with the prospect up 18 or 19 races run over the remainder of the year and potentially into January 2021.

 

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