Marko ‘proud of Austria’ as F1 gets green light

Austria will officially kick things off in July
Austria will officially kick things off in July

(GMM) Formula 1 is poised to announce an initial 2020 calendar featuring spectator-less 'ghost races' in Europe.

Austrian health minister Rudolf Anschober says the safety plan reviewed by the government in the past days for back-to-back races in early July satisfies "the requirements in the corona period".

Dr Helmut Marko, representing race promoter Red Bull, told APA news agency: "It is very important for Formula 1 that we start again.

"It will be the first digital world sport event to take place and we are happy and proud of Austria."

Marko said the Red Bull Ring has enough time to prepare for the first race on July 5.

However, F1 CEO Chase Carey recently cancelled a scheduled interview with the Red Bull-owned Austrian broadcaster Servus TV to talk about the Austrian GP plan.

"I don't think he had his provisional F1 calendar together yet, so he didn't want to comment," Marko explained.

"Apparently it was because of Silverstone, where the originally planned date could not be done because of the entry requirements."

But Britain now appears to have now exempted Formula 1 from the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travelers.

Secretary of state for sport, Oliver Dowden, said: "It is up to each individual sport to decide exactly when to resume competition. They know their sports best."

A spokesman for Formula 1 said it appreciated the UK government's "efforts and support".

But that is bad news for Hockenheim, as the former German GP venue had negotiated with Formula 1 in the event that one of the planned races collapsed.

"We were ready to jump in but we always said that we didn't want to push any other races off the calendar," circuit boss Jorn Teske told Bild am Sonntag.

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