(GMM) Formula 1 is pushing ahead with its 23-race calendar, even though question marks are hovering over several scheduled events after the August break.
“That is still the plan,” F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Speed Week in Austria.
“The fact that we can find replacements for races that cannot happen shows how well Formula 1 is doing at the moment,” he added.
“Thanks to the FIA protocols, we have been able to prove in every country we have been to that we are on the safe side in the pandemic by reducing the risk to a minimum.”
As for the future, Domenicali said the plan for now is to cap the annual calendars to 23 races.
On Sunday, the biggest crowd of the covid crisis so far – 60,000 – will gather at Red Bull’s circuit, which already hosted another race with a smaller audience a week ago.
“I can’t imagine Formula 1 without Dietrich Mateschitz and Red Bull,” Domenicali said. “He is a visionary.
“What he has done and is doing for Formula 1 is fantastic and I am grateful for his commitment.”
The following race will then take place in front of another big crowd at Silverstone, which will host the debut of the new ‘sprint qualifying’ format.
“We are excited to see the reactions from the fans,” said Domenicali. “But we won’t make a decision on whether the format will remain until after the season.”
Finally, the Italian as well as FIA president Jean Todt will moderate a meeting with key carmaker CEOs on Saturday, to discuss the future of the sport’s engine rules.
“We want to be pioneers again,” said Domenicali, “as we were in 2014 with the first hybrid power units, which are now the most efficient engines ever.
“Now we have to push hybridization further and at the same time introduce sustainable fuel.”