Circuits permanent located in Europe are more and more privileged by the Formula 1, which tries by all means to give the kick-off of a season delayed by the COVID-19.
So far, the first nine stages have been postponed or even cancelled (Australia and Monaco).
According to most observers, the first race of the season would be held on the track of Spielberg, in Austria, as scheduled, on 5 July. What’s more, the owner of the complex, Red Bull, would be willing not only to organize the first Grand Prix of the season without spectators, but also to introduce a second race in the same conditions on the following Wednesday.
This is at least what would be proposed Helmut Marko, in an interview with the local radio station ORF. It will, however, obtain the agreement of the government to complete this project.
“A request has been made, said the adviser of the austrian company, and the chance to be approved is very high. “
France, after the Canada ?
This initiative joins that of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, step scheduled for 19 July, and whose leaders are open to organize later on two and even three races in the space of a month at Silverstone circuit.
After the postponement of the Grand Prix of Canada two weeks ago, the fate of the next round is always entered in the calendar in France on the 24th June, and should be known in the next few days. The probability that it be carried are, it seems, very strong.
For the local promoter, as well as Montreal, moreover, a race in front of the stands empty is the last possible scenario.
Reduce costs and travel
All that to say that the F1 could take on the heart-wrenching decision to present all the races of the season, a dozen at most, in Europe and on circuits permanent where the preparation costs are minimized.
This is perhaps not good news for the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit in Montreal, a temporary track that requires more complex work. The 10 teams are based on the Old Continent, seven of which were in England. The idea is to reduce the expenditure to the maximum and to avoid lengthy travel.
Apart from the members of the stables, whose numbers would be reduced, only the marshals, the direction of the race, the firefighters, the doctors and the team of the international automobile Federation (FIA) responsible for the transmission of live images, would be allowed to enter the site.
All of these employees logeraient in nearby hotels and would be tested regularly to avoid any risk of contamination. All journalists, including those who have a permanent accreditation to the F1, are unable to attend these races that we would like to present behind closed doors.
The fear of the spectators
The moral of the story is that the holding of the Grand Prix of Canada, its proponent wishes to submit before mid-October, seems to be more and more compromised.
François Dumontier is not ready to assume all the costs related to the organisation of his race without a monetary compensation from the authorities of the F1.
Its main sources of income, is it necessary to repeat, are the ticket office, dressing rooms, corporate and a few national sponsors.
However, two important issues are for the moment without response. First, the F1 will accept to cover these expenses and, secondly, that the montreal public is willing to gather in the stands crowded next to strangers even if containment measures are lifted ? The fear of a second wave of the epidemic is pervasive.
The world championship is valid if eight trials are held on three continents. But faced with this exceptional situation, the F1 would accept without a doubt not to comply with this requirement for the season 2020. If only to satisfy its key partners that are sponsors in the world and the tv networks who pay amounts of money.