Eight races ‘not enough’ for 2020 F1 season – boss

Bernie Ecclestone says 8 races
Bernie Ecclestone says 8 races

(GMM) Bernie Ecclestone thinks Formula 1 should be able to organize "eight races with no problems" in 2020.

Actually, the former F1 supremo's successors at Liberty Media are hoping for many more races than that, starting with back-to-back weekends in Europe with no spectators present.

Ecclestone told F1 business journalist Christian Sylt, writing in the Sunday Express, that the sport "should be able to have eight races with no problems".

"The problem is whether or not teams can come out of Italy, whether the tire company can come out of Italy. That will be the problem," he said.

An unnamed team boss told Auto Motor und Sport that eight races will not be enough.

"We would lose money with eight races," the boss said. "Then our travel and logistics costs would exceed the revenue."

But in other ways, far less than 18-19 races is enough for F1 in the circumstances, according to legend Alain Prost.

"Some say you have to absolutely do 18 races to make a beautiful championship," he told Canal Plus.

"But when I started in 1980 we had 11 races, with the average about 15 or 16, so if we only had 11 or 12, we can still have a very nice championship," Prost added. "I think we have to be a little magnanimous on this."

Hungary is hoping to be another venue for the so-called 'ghost races'.

"While this is not an ideal scenario, we do believe that staging the event behind closed doors – which our fans can still watch on television – is preferable to not having a race at all," the organizers said in a statement.

Alex Wurz, president of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, thinks another measure F1 could put into place to make the races safer is a tracking app.

"We may be able to be tracked completely with an app so that – if something happens – the follow-up can be started immediately," he told ORF.

The former driver thinks it is realistic for F1 to be targeting the start of the season in July in his native Austria.

"We have drivers who are masked, mechanics at the pitstop who are masked," said Wurz.

"With strict internal guidelines and also international guidelines, it is possible that we have the race in Austria and thus open up the season."

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