Europe has spent weeks in lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus but Formula One bosses are optimistic the sport could restart in July.
F1 chiefs have cancelled the first nine races of the season, which was due to begin in March, after pressure from drivers and fans to postpone the calendar.
But the sport’s decision makers are keen to ensure the new season gets underway sooner rather than later and are hoping to stage the Austria Grand Prix on July 5.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner says F1 teams are preparing for season to start on July 5
Horner says Austria’s Red Bull ring is bespoke facility that is ready to go at ‘flick of a switch’
Horner has admitted restrictions will have to be put in place if Grand Prix is given green light
Red Bull chief Christian Horner says the proposed date will give teams a positive target to aim for even if they are forced to reschedule yet again.
‘We are hopeful and it would be a great start for the championship if it is deemed safe to do so,’ he told The Sun. ‘I know Red Bull are doing all they can to facilitate the race.
‘If the medical authorities and government agree, then it would give us a starting point that others could follow on from.
‘Obviously a lot of research has gone on into how a race could be hosted without fans and the minimum amount of people in attendance.’
Horner says team numbers could be reduced to 80 to ensure health and safety of participants
If the race does go ahead it is highly likely that a long list of restrictions will be put in place to ensure the health and safety of drivers and team members.
Horner added: ‘Procedures would be put in place, including testing with team numbers reduced to around 80 people.
‘But it is always important to have a target, even in times of uncertainty like these. If you have no target in life, then things just drift.
‘The global crisis is bigger than our sport, but if you put a marker in the sand and say, July 5th is the starting point, if things change and get worse, they can always be changed.