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Austrian GP "must" take place behind closed doors

NEWS STORY
30/04/2020

On Monday, following weeks of speculation, Chase Carey confirmed that the Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled to finally kick-start the 2020 season into life, albeit behind closed doors.

Indeed, the F1 boss admitted that all the early rounds of the proposed schedule will likely take place without spectators.

Austria's health minister, Rudolf Anschober has now confirmed that if the event is to take place it must be behind closed doors.

"Authorisation to stage the event depends entirely on the security plan that the organisers present," Anschober told Radio O1. "We will only allow such events under very strict conditions and of course, I think it goes without saying, without a crowd."

Previously, Red Bull's motor sport consultant, Helmut Marko laid out the plan for the event, which could be a double-header.

Other than no spectators, teams and their sponsors will not be allowed guests, while the media will also be excluded - all interviews and coverage to come from one source and relayed to the various outlets.

With teams required to reduce their staffing levels at the track to the bare minimum, the entire 'circus' would remain within the confines of the facility for the duration, ensuring there is no risk to (or from) the local population.

It is understood that all those travelling to the event may be required to provide certificates confirming that they are not infected with the virus.

"The Formula 1 community is afraid of being infected and wants to isolate itself as much as possible," Marko told Motorsport.com. "At the same time that's good, because the population is also afraid of being infected. Everyone is afraid and therefore everyone will be extremely careful.

"We will try to reduce participants from teams and suppliers as much as possible," he added. "This increases the chances that it may be signed off.

"But clearly, all of this can only be done within the (Austrian) safety regulations. They will still be in force at the time We are working hard to ensure that all this goes hand in hand. I see the chances are good."

Incredibly, as if this wasn't already a somewhat controversial plan, Marko suggests that there be a full support race programme.

"Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup should be part of it," he said. "This is a message to the sport.

"I don't know whether TV will miss background stories that will not be possible due to the strict regulations," he continued, "but maybe we can broadcast support races instead of them."

He clearly forgot to mention the grid girls... or perhaps the return of the Formula Unas.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by stackvideo, 01/05/2020 8:10

"No mention of marshal's/safety staff and medical staff or do these come under the "entire 'circus" Another oversight?? Also the "entire 'circus' would remain within the confines of the facility", so there now would need to be some sort of catering on site for all the marshals, safety staff, support race members. It's getting bigger and bigger all the time. Opps! forgot to include the outside broadcast staff for the TV coverage. "

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2. Posted by trackrecords, 01/05/2020 7:31

"Will the 'no media' rule include photographers too? Bernie had the belief that the latest HD TV feed could be 'freeze-framed' to provide still images. Rather nievely he forget that the prime'focus' of the TV cameras was, and still is, the billboards in the background, rather than the cars themselves. Unless someone is going to stitch together all the 360 degrees nose camera images to give action shots?"

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3. Posted by trackrecords, 01/05/2020 7:24

"Using hotels in Judenberg and Spielberg isn't the same as staying within the confines of the circuit. If only the nation had a prior experience of keeping a large number of foreigners in segregation and preventing them leaving an area..."

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4. Posted by trackrecords, 01/05/2020 7:19

"There could be a fortune to be made in pantomime cow costumes to allow spectators to seek onto the hillside over-looking the track towards what was the amazing Bosch curve...
"

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5. Posted by alvarezh3, 30/04/2020 15:27

"Helmut Marko just answered my question, the "circus" personnel would be staying at a hotel close to the circuit for two weeks. Additionally, since COVID-19 testing will only be done once, when not at the track, they will be quarantined in their respective hotels."

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6. Posted by alvarezh3, 30/04/2020 12:08

""the entire 'circus' would remain within the confines of the facility for the duration, ensuring there is no risk to (or from) the local population."

Does that mean that everyone will be sleeping in huge army type tents with a mess hall, erected at the track? Anyone know?"

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7. Posted by Batman, 30/04/2020 10:47

"Roland Ratzenberger [4 July 1960 – 30 April 1994]"

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