With the news in Belgium that the Grand Prix hosted at Spa is far from certain having just announced a ban on any mass gatherings until the 30th of August, Covid 19 deals yet another blow as to whether the Formula 1 season will ever take off in 2020.
And yet, there could be a ray of hope from Austria.
Werner Kolger, Austria’s Sports Minister and Vice-Chancellor, recently admitted his optimism about the Grand Prix being held on the Red Bull Ring in July, and he confirms that a possible closed-door race will be supported by the government.
TJ13 reported some days ago on conflict within the Austrian government regarding the Austrian Grand Prix happening appears to be resolved.
“We don’t want to interfere,” Kolger said. “It’s a totally different situation than matches in stadiums. It only concerns a certain number of people, safety distances should be applied in the same way of course. But it seems possible.”
“I don’t want to hide the fact that I’m in contact with the Styrian government on this matter. It would be in an existing calendar in July. The sports federation has to decide for itself.”
“I’ve also been in contact with Helmut Marko, who is a correspondent at Red Bull and acted as a mediator. I told him that I would like to honour this, and that we will follow all the guidelines applied by the relevant motorsport associations, to see what is possible.”
Austria has put in place strict responses to the pandemic, including quarantine or health certificates to let people in.
“As F1 is an international event, this needs to be considered within the existing restrictions on entry and exit. I don’t want to anticipate a need for exemption here or there. In principle, Formula One has told me that it could work on the basis of isolation or a health certificate.”
“But I don’t want to interfere, I just want to know that the rules are being applied. What’s important for us is that the distance rules apply. And at some point you have to ask yourself who will be in this transport, because tens of thousands are less favorable than thousands, because every number increases the probability of something happening.”