Sport

F1 season will begin 5 July in Austria

Formula 2 planned to hold further races in Russian Federation (alongside Formula 3) and Abu Dhabi, and remains optimistic of there being events after its Italian round.

Formula 1 has confirmed that the 2020 season will begin in Austria, in addition to revealing information on the first eight races of its revised calendar. Following this will be the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.

To ensure F1 can proceed with its season, strict measures are being implemented such as regular testing, "bubble" isolation for teams and limits on the number of personnel permitted. It is expected that 15-18 races will take place before the season is completed in December.

F1 CEO Chase Carey said in a news release: "In the past weeks we have been working tirelessly with all our partners, the FIA and the teams to create a revised opening 2020 calendar allowing us to restart racing in the safest possible way".

"We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks".

F1 now expects the opening races will be closed to the public, but hope fans will be able to attend when it is safe to do so.

There had been question marks over Silverstone's place on the calendar due to concerns over a quarantine programme due to be introduced by the Government, impacting travellers arriving into the United Kingdom from June 8.

Channel 4 has the live broadcast rights to show the British Grand Prix in the United Kingdom on August 2, though the second race at Silverstone - the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix - is set to remain exclusive to Sky along with all the other races which take place.

"Although these will be closed events we are confident that our legendary circuit will provide the flawless setting for a great show for everyone watching at home".

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"First of all, I would like to thank Formula 1 and the FIA for making this revised opening calendar possible in such hard circumstances", said the series' CEO Bruno Michel.

"I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula One".

The curtailed Formula One season will start with two races behind closed doors in Austria on July 5 and July 12.

The 2020 season was to have featured a record 22 races, now it is set to be the shortest campaign since 2009 with races in Australia, Monaco, France and the Netherlands cancelled. For the first time a Formula 1 race will take place without any fans.

Williams driver George Russell reacted on Twitter by posting: "LETTTSSS GOOO!"

An F1 statement said the championship would begin across three consecutive weekends - two in Austria on 5 and 12 July and a third in Hungary.

Channel 4 does have the rights to show the British Grand Prix but that means only one of the two races at Silverstone will be free to watch as the second event has been billed as the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.

"It has been a huge effort by all involved and the two events at the Red Bull Ring will be a blueprint for all other races to follow".



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