Marko hopes for spectators at Austria GP

Marko hoping for fans at the Red Bull Ring
Marko hoping for fans at the Red Bull Ring

(GMM) The Austrian government has played down hopes F1's 2020 'season opener' may be raced in front of spectators.

Currently, Red Bull – the promoter of the Austrian GP at Spielberg – is waiting merely to have its 'ghost race' plan for July rubber-stamped by authorities.

"We hope to receive a response from the ministry of health soon," Dr Helmut Marko told ORF's Sport am Sonntag program.

"Although our concept envisages a ghost race, I think that if the overall coronavirus situation continues to develop well, a limited audience admission is also conceivable in the next few weeks," the Red Bull official added.

"There is so much going on at the moment, so let's see what can happen. Should things continue to be so positive, then why not?" Marko said.

However, Austrian sport minister Werner Kogler has played down that prospect.

"I don't think the advisory staff at the ministry of health is currently thinking about allowing large events with many spectators," he told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

"That would be news to me. The decisive factor will be the entry and exit regulations," Kogler added.

Marko has also ruled out earlier speculation that one of the two races at the Red Bull Ring will be held mid-week.

"We originally wanted to do it that way, but the TV stations have insisted on events on Sunday," said the Austrian.