Formula One chairman Chase Carey hopes season will start July 5

Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images
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PARIS — The Formula One season could start in July despite the first 10 races being canceled or postponed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, F1 chairman Chase Carey said Monday.

The French Grand Prix canceled its race scheduled for June 28 rather than postponing it Monday, making July 5 the targeted start date at the Austrian GP in Spielberg.

“We are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer,” Carey said in a statement. “We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria.”

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The 2020 schedule was already stretched to 22 races, with the inaugural Vietnam GP added to the calendar and the Dutch GP hosting its first race since 1985 as the German GP dropped out.

The season-opening Australian GP on March 15 and the iconic Monaco GP on May 24 were also canceled.

Carey hopes that 15-18 races can take place in Europe through September before moving to “Eurasia, Asia and the Americas.” The season would conclude in the Gulf with the Bahrain GP – initially set for March – and the Abu Dhabi GP.

“We expect the early races to be without fans but hope fans will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule,” Carey said. “We still have to work out many issues like the procedures for the teams and our other partners to enter and operate in each country.”

The British GP is set to follow Austria on July 19 and organizers said they are talking to the government about the viability of holding it without fans.

F1’s finances have taken a hit with so many races called off, and smaller teams especially face an uncertain future. This has led to several discussions about reducing the budget-cap level.

“We have also been working hard with (governing body) FIA and the teams to strengthen the long term future of Formula 1 through an array of new technical, sporting, and financial regulations,” Carey said.

A budget cap of $175 million was agreed last year but teams want it lowered to $150 million for next year – excluding driver salaries and engine costs. But McLaren wants it reduced to $100 million, an initiative which Ferrari opposes.

Some leading drivers, including six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, are in the final year of their contracts.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.