The 2020 Formula 1 season is set to start, finally – The Austrian Grand Prix is being further pushed for a double header over two weekends set for the start of July.
Significant moves are afoot, pushed by Formula 1, the Austrian government and Red Bull themselves, in order for the Red Bull Ring to be best placed for hosting the first races of the season.
As reported in the “Kleine Zeitung” newspaper, around 400 employees of the race track, the security team, the surrounding Mateschitz hotel and catering businesses (combined under the umbrella of the Spielberg regional development project) and the local tourist board have been tested for the corona virus by means of blood sampling in the pits.
The Spielberg project does not officially comment on this process, yet. But unofficially, it can only be seen as a preparatory measure for the decision-makers can bring themselves can implement the Austrian Grand Prix, most likely with two races over consecutive weekends.
Further, there is support from the Styrian provincial government in Graz and the Austrian federal government in Vienna according to formel1.de website.
“Of course I welcome the fact that Formula 1 will again be staged at the Red Bull Ring in Styria this year. Even in times of the current corona crisis we must not lose confidence” says Governor Hermann Schützenhöfer when quoted by the APA Austrian news outlet.
It is thought that Austria is keen to kickstart the return to a post corona world by being the first country to hold an international sporting event, even behind closed doors (no public spectating).
For a relatively small country like Austria, with an Austrian showpiece company like Red Bull, the kudos for such a feat is thought to give the country a headstart and boost to the eventual tourism return. Also, the racing would enable the politicians around Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to make an international name for themselves.
Schützenhöfer says: “We are infinitely grateful to [Red Bulls] Dietrich Mateschitz for his enormous commitment to his home province of Styria.
“Accordingly, it would be nice if we could at least send an exciting Grand Prix and the beautiful pictures of the Murtal to the world via TV”.
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