FIA green lights F1 world championship start

20 June 2020 - 10:21 By afp.com
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 leads the field at the start during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 13, 2018 in Montmelo, Spain.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes WO9 leads the field at the start during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 13, 2018 in Montmelo, Spain.
Image: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Motor racing chiefs on Friday rubber-stamped the start of the Formula One world championship with, as expected, eight races in Europe between July and September.

The 2020 campaign, which should have got underway in mid-March in Australia, will open on July 5 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, behind closed doors.

There will be reduced numbers of people in the paddock following strict health protocols.

A second GP is planned in Spielberg on July 12, before Hungary (at the Hungaroring in Budapest) on July 19.

Back-to-back events follow in Great Britain (at Silverstone) on August 2 and 9, Spain (at Barcelona) on August 16, Belgium (Spa) on August 30 and Italy (Monza) on September 6.

The continuation of the season, not yet revealed, should in principle take teams and drivers to Asia and the Americas, before finishing in the Middle East in mid-December.

Measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 initially provide for the absence of spectators and the reduction of the number of people present on the circuits.

This includes teams, officials, security and media.

These will be divided into secure groups and regularly tested.

In the event of a positive case, those individuals concerned will be isolated and replaced.

To allow compliance with social and physical distancing measures, the FIA on Friday also authorised race marshals to "operate remotely in exceptional circumstances".

Limits will also be placed on the number of people allowed on the starting grid while podium protocols will also be reviewed.

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