APRIL 27, 2020
All requirements met for Austria plan says Marko
Red Bull is pushing ahead with its plan for back-to-back spectator-less races in Austria held on consecutive weekends in July.
"Two races, each on Sunday, on July 5 and 12," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told public radio O3.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner said it is a "positive target for the sport to have", adding that if the plan needs to be changed "there is plenty of time to do so".
Red Bull, the Austrian GP promoter and owner of the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, is putting a range of measures in place so the races can proceed.
One measure is coronavirus testing.
"This is organised by the teams, so the people arrive with the appropriate test certificate," said Marko.
But Red Bull is doing its own testing, with Marko saying 400 employees have already undergone corona tests.
"That shows that we can get large numbers of tests done quickly," he said.
Even the local authorities are backing the plan, with Spielberg tourism official Michael Ranzmaier-Hausleitner telling ORF it would be "a blessing for the region and the world in a very tough time of crisis".
Ralf Schumacher told Sky Germany: "The state is also involved and Red Bull is funding the whole thing, since no spectators are allowed."
The former F1 driver said the Red Bull Ring is equipped so that the 1000 essential people in attendance "can keep their distance" from one another.
Marko said that, so far, "all official requirements" by authorities "have already been met".
Silverstone could be another venue for F1's early return to racing, with Marko confirming that "discussions are ongoing with other European organisers".
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Osterreich: "If the decision-makers in Austria find a concept for the start of the season with the necessary safety measures, that would be incredibly positive news for Formula 1."
But the first target for F1 is the resumption of work at the factories.
"We will end the lockdown in Formula 1 at the end of May," Marko told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. "From this point the teams will start working again, but that is not an indication that we can definitely race in Spielberg in July."