Horner on Red Bull Ring’s ‘draconian blueprint’

Michelle Foster


Screening, testing and a whole lot of isolation will be on the cards when Formula 1 goes racing at the Red Bull Ring, says Christian Horner.

The Austrian circuit is intent on opening the 2020 Formula 1 season in July but, of course, that depends on whether the organisers can guarantee the safety of all those involved.

Already F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn has spoken of racing in a “small bubble” with teams not permitted to interact with the public or even with one another.

All the races will be behind closed doors while even the media won’t be present.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has referred to it as a “TV-only” event.

Horner admits the steps that will be taken by the Red Bull Ring and Formula 1 are “pretty draconian” but it is the only way Formula 1 will get out onto the track.

“Red Bull are really committed to getting the championship off the ground,” the Red Bull team boss said to Autosport.

“They have put in huge effort to get the race under way in Austria.

“It’s a circuit that’s owned by Red Bull, so it’s obviously within their control, but they’re working with the local authorities and the government.

“Of course the screening and testing and the restrictions that are going to be in place are going to be pretty draconian, but if it allows the sport to start up again, I think it will be a blueprint for other circuits to follow.

“I think when we do get going again, it’s going to be like creating a tight group of people, probably less than 80 people within a team, and they’re all going to have to stay in the same hotel, they’re all going to have to travel together, and they are not going to be able to interface with other teams.

“So there’s going to be some quite strict restrictions.

“I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of testing, a lot of screening, and we won’t be interacting with the local community as well.

“I think that there are going to be procedures in place that are designed to protect most of the competitors, and also take the necessary precautions for the hosts of these races as well, so it’s not going to be a standard grand prix format by any shape or form.”

Liberty Media has set out plans for a “15 to 18” grand prix season, starting in Europe before moving to Asia, the Americas and finishing with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

There are, however, many who don’t believe the sport will the freedom to head to all those venues.

Horner is hopeful.

“We’re a race team, and we need a championship to race in,” he added.

“It’s unimaginable not to go racing this year, and I think it would be enormously unlikely for there not to be an event take place, or a World Championship to take place.

“You can see it’s gathering momentum, the last couple of weeks, trying to put scenarios in place to try and get going.

“I don’t think there will be a scenario where we won’t race at all this year.”

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