The announcement came immediately after the cancellation of the French Grand Prix and the news that the British Grand Prix will take place without spectators if it continues.
The French GP of June 28 is the 10th race to fall in the face of the coronavirus epidemic and its cancellation was expected after Emmanuel Macron banned mass gatherings until July.
F1 planned and discussed how and when the season could start and Austria, where the lock restrictions have been relaxed, is to host the first race.
“We are now more and more confident in the progress of our plans to start our season,” said Chase Carey, president of the F1 group. “We are targeting the start of a race in Europe until July, August and early September, the first race taking place in Austria from July 3 to 5. “
Carey said plans to extend the season to January have not been implemented. “September, October and November would see us run in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas,” he said. “Finish the Gulf season in December with Bahrain before the traditional final in Abu Dhabi, after finishing between 15 and 18 races. We will publish our finalized calendar as soon as possible. “
Silverstone concluded that it would not be possible to organize the British GP with fans present. The circuit talks to the digital, culture, media and sports department over a closed-door race on July 19.
F1 is planning to hold two consecutive races in Austria and Britain to make the most of the limited time remaining. Any planning is subject to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus epidemic.
“We expect the first few races to be fanless, but we hope that fans will be part of our events as we move up the calendar,” said Carey. “We still have many issues to resolve, such as entry and team procedures in each country. The health and safety of everyone involved will continue to be a priority and we will only move forward if we are confident that we have reliable procedures for dealing with potential risks and problems.
In camera races will have no way of recovering accommodation costs and it is reasonable to assume that F1 will have to waive costs in order for races to take place. The Silverstone organizers declined to comment on the financial details of a closed-door race, but are still planning, suggesting that an agreement has been reached. Organizing races without fans makes it possible to respect the commitments towards broadcasters and sponsors.
If Austria organized two races on July 5 and 12, then a week off would be necessary if Silverstone were also to organize two, moving the first race here to July 26. The circuit said it was willing to move the event.
The Belgian GP will most certainly have to move from August 30, because public gatherings are prohibited until the end of August. The new F1 calendar should be a complete reprogramming of the remaining events.
Silverstone said tickets will be refunded or postponed until next year. The circuit involves donating thousands of tickets to the NHS and key workers for the 2021 race.
“We have left this difficult decision as long as possible”, said Stuart Pringle, CEO of Silverstone“But it is very clear, given the conditions in the country and government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that a grand prize under normal conditions will simply not be possible. “
The French GP is the third race to be canceled rather than postponed, alongside Australia and Monaco, with organizers now focusing on next season.
“Given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Grand Prix of France takes note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain our test”, explained the French Director General , Eric Boullier. “The eyes of the French Grand Prix are already turning to the summer of 2021.”