Silverstone and Austria’s Spielberg could hold back-to-back F1 races

LONDON (AFP) – British Grand Prix organisers said on Sunday they could host two consecutive races if required in an effort to help salvage the coronavirus-hit world championship.

So far nine of the 22 races have either been cancelled or postponed with the French and Belgian races tipped to join the abandoned list.

That would leave the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 as the delayed season-opener with the British Grand Prix scheduled to follow two weeks later.

Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko told Austrian public broadcaster ORF that the Spielberg track too could host back-to-back races with the second a two-day race during the week. He said the track manager had already proposed to the government to allow a Grand Prix without fans with chances of its approval “very high”.

Sports Minister Werner Kogler announced this week he was not opposed to the Spielberg race being held without a crowd.

Marko, whose team is based in Austria, said F1 organisers were working on a concept of reducing the number of those on site and how charter flights could land at an airport near Spielberg from the United Kingdom (UK) where most of the teams are based.

Marko highlighted the “unpayable advertising effect” of Spielberg kicking off the truncated season though all those who enter Austria will have to show negative COVID-19 results to avoid quarantine.

Earlier, Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle also said discussions had already taken place with F1 bosses over the famous British circuit hosting two world championship grands prix in succession.

“We have discussed all sorts of permutations including hosting two races over one weekend and two races over consecutive weekends,” Pringle told The Guardian.

“I have complete confidence in our ability to put on these events. We have a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge, we can turn that on definitely.”