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Coronavirus: F1 season could start behind closed doors in Europe

By Sacha Pisani

London, April 9: The Formula One season could start behind closed doors in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to F1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.

On Tuesday (April 7), the Canadian Grand Prix – scheduled for June 14 – became the ninth race of the 2020 F1 season to be postponed due to COVID-19, joining Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Netherlands, Monaco, Spain and Vietnam on the list.

F1 organisers remain determined to begin the season as soon as possible and whatever a revised calendar looks like, it could exclude fans from the circuit.

"If we were to start at the beginning of July, we could do a 19-race season," Brawn said on the Sky F1 Vodcast. "It's tough, three races on, weekend off, three races on, weekend off - but we've looked at all the logistics."

Brawn added: "Our view is that probably a European start would be favourable, and that could even be a closed event.

"We could have a very closed environment where teams come in on charter [planes], we channel them into the circuit, we make sure everyone's tested, cleared, there's no risk to everyone and we have a race without spectators. That's not great, but I think it's still better than no racing at all."

"Eight races would be the minimum [for the championship], and we could achieve eight races by starting in October," Brawn continued.

"But there's always the possibility we could run into next year. That's being explored and we could stray into January to finish the season, though there's all sorts of complications with that. The choice this year is anything between eight and 19."

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Story first published: Thursday, April 9, 2020, 7:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 9, 2020
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