F1 must organize enough races in 2020 – Marko

Dr. Helmut Marko
Dr. Helmut Marko

(GMM) Dr. Helmut Marko says it is crucial that Formula 1 manages to organize a minimum number of races amid the corona crisis in 2020.

A draft calendar featuring 19 races between July and December is currently doing the rounds on the internet, but there are doubts about how many of them will actually happen.

"I am quite optimistic that we can start in Austria because it is one of the countries that has managed to maintain a low number of infections of the virus and I think they will have made a good plan to enable us to race," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is quoted by Corriere dello Sport.

Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle says he has agreed a deal with F1 for two 'ghost races' to follow Austria, but he warned that it is "subject to government approval".

The promoter of the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps, meanwhile, says the local Walloon government has cleared the way for a race "behind closed doors".

"This way, we can contribute to the establishment of a 2020 F1 championship," the organizers said in a statement.

But McLaren boss Andreas Seidl is cautious, telling France's Auto Hebdo that it is currently "impossible to predict when we will be able to return to the circuits".

"It will depend on the different exit strategies from the crisis of each country," he said, adding that F1 teams "depend in the income" earned through racing.

Dr Helmut Marko, a top official at Red Bull, said the top team is "not at risk" of collapse thanks to the support of "good sponsors".

But he also told the Austrian broadcaster ORF: "If there are not enough races for a world championship, the team will lose between $20 and $50 million in revenue, which means that some of the others would face massive economic difficulties."