Mark Thompson/Getty Images

F1 will begin 2020 season next month with two races in Austria without fans

1 Comment

PARIS — Formula One finally will begin with back-to-back races at the Austrian Grand Prix in July as part of an eight-race European swing.

The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg will host races on July 5 and 12, governing body FIA said in a statement Tuesday.

The next race will be on July 19 in Hungary followed by consecutive races at the British GP at Silverstone on Aug. 2 and 9 after the British government exempted elite sports from an upcoming quarantine on foreign visitors.

SPEAKING OUT: Lewis Hamilton addresses racial strife

Further races are scheduled for Spain on Aug. 16 and Belgium on Aug. 30, with Italy completing the European swing on Sept. 6.

“Over the past two months Formula One has been working closely with all partners, authorities, the FIA and the 10 teams to create a revised calendar that will allow a return to racing in a way that is safe,” the FIA said. “Due to the ongoing fluidity of the COVID-19 situation internationally, the details of the wider calendar will be finalized in the coming weeks.”

There will be no spectators allowed to attend, though there might be later in the year if health conditions allow it.

“It is currently expected that the opening races will be closed events,” the FIA said. “But it is hoped fans will be able to join events again when it is safe to do so.”

Four races have been canceled this season because of the coronavirus pandemic: the season-opening Australian GP, the Monaco GP, the French GP and the Netherlands GP.

F1 remains hopeful of holding 15 to 18 of the scheduled 22 races by rearranging the six that were postponed and finishing the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.

“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula One,” series chairman Chase Carey said. “We know the return of Formula One will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is excited about kicking off the season in Austria.

“We are pleased to be starting … at our home circuit. It has been a huge effort by all involved and the two events at the Red Bull Ring will be a blueprint for all other races to follow,” Horner said.

“With the first eight races of the calendar now confirmed we have some positive momentum.”

The FIA and F1 are working together on a plan to have strict safety measures in place at the races.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
Leave a comment

The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”