The Austrian Grand Prix has secured government approval to host the F1 season-openers at the Red Bull Ring on July 5 and 12, according to reports.
Currently the 2020 season is on hold, but teams have now started returning to work in their factories with a target date of July 3-5 to start the season.
And now reports in Austria say that the government have given approval for the Austrian GP double-header to start the season after weeks of discussions between F1, the Red Bull Ring and local authorities.
From those talks a safety plan has been drafted up and signed off.
Earlier in the week, health Minister Rudi Anschober said the government was “de facto finished” in their evaluation, but he said the final decision would arrive “immediately after Pentecost” on May 31.
But Die Motorprofis are reporting that the safety proposal for both race weekends has been approved, and the news doesn’t end there.
They are also reporting that the races perhaps won’t have to be ‘Closed Events’, instead an extra 500 people will be allowed in, though details on that haven’t been provided yet.
Formula 1 plan to operate in a “bubble of isolation” when the season begins, and managing director Ross Brawn has said already that everyone from the series will land with charter flights at the military airfield close to the Red Bull Ring.
All Formula 1 personnel must have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 and present a health certificate before they can enter Austria.
As for where the season goes after Austria, Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix has emerged as the most likely destination, with the British Grand Prix pushed back to August to potentially host multiple rounds.
Check out our brand new Torquing Point podcast as we continue to discuss the knock-on effect of F1’s silly season: