Dr Helmut Marko says the first F1 ‘ghost race’ in 2020 should also feature support events. Red Bull is central to F1’s plans to get racing again, as it owns the Austrian GP venue in Spielberg and the government is beginning to relax the country’s shutdown. “Austria as a country is starting to come out of their lockdowns slowly but surely, and that’s in April,” Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer told CNN.
“So, if you can look forward and say that’s happening in April, the barber shops and the beauty salons and the libraries are opening now and perhaps children go back to school in May, I can see a race without fans happening in July,” he added.
Marko told the German language motorsport-total.com that the racing in Austria would be “a pure TV event” without spectators or even the media. But he does think the support categories should be there. “Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup,” he confirmed.
“It is a message to the sport. I don’t know if the normal background stories will be on TV because of the strict regulations, so maybe the support races can be broadcast in some way,” Marko added.
“It is also our sporting wish, because how else can you consider someone for Formula 1 next year? The young drivers also need points for the super licence, otherwise you will more or less cement the status quo in Formula 1.”
Red Bull’s plan is for two consecutive race weekends in Austria, and perhaps even a mid-week race in between. “In general, the will of everyone involved is there,” Marko said. “That the whole thing will take place is being assessed positively.”
However, it is unclear which other race promoters will be able to afford to host ‘ghost races’. Marko told Blick newspaper that the Austrian event will involve widespread corona testing and “charter and private flights from all over Europe”.
Source: CNN / Blick
Photocredit: Getty Images
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