Starting the 2020 Formula 1 season in Austria at the beginning of July is a realistic prospect, according to Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

F1 revealed its initial blueprint of a plan to get the 2020 season underway with a behind closed doors Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 on Monday, with CEO Chase Carey saying he is “increasingly confident” about getting the campaign off the ground in little over two month’s time.

Championship officials remain determined to try and squeeze in races into a sixth-month period before the end of the year to meet its 15-18 race aim following the disruption and delays caused by the coronavirus crisis.

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F1’s plans confirmed it is targeting Austria as the most likely location to host the season-opener, before holding a number of European rounds without spectators - possibly including multiple races at Silverstone - throughout July, August and early September.

Asked if he feels it is a realistic aim, Szafnauer told CNN: “I think so.

"If Austria do a very good job as a country to contain the spread of the virus into July, and there's testing available for all of the Formula 1 employees or participants to actually test, I think it's plausible to put on a race in early July.

"If by sometime in June, we say yes, it's on, it's happening, we're safe to go. I think all the teams will be able to make it, no problem.”

Talks have been ongoing between officials in the Styria region of Austria and Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who is confident about F1’s chances of kickstarting the season at the Red Bull Ring.

The Austrian government has already given F1 the green light for an Austrian Grand Prix to take place and last week the governor of Styria, Hermann Schützenhöfer, told Austrian press agency APA that he is fully behind the idea.

"Of course I support the idea of Formula 1 at Red Bull Ring coming to Styria even this year," Schützenhöfer said. “We must not lose our positive attitude during the crisis.

"It would be wonderful to send images from an exciting grand prix, as well as the beautiful images from the Murtal region around the world, at least via TV."

 

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