Managing director of Formula 1, Ross Brawn, says that serious consideration is being put into holding double-header races, part of a wider strategy to get the 2020 season underway.
Members of senior management are trying to find a solution which would allow racing to start, while in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which has put everything on hold; so far, the opening 10 races of the season have either been postponed or cancelled altogether.
Plans have been made for the season to kick off in Austria in July, behind closed doors. F1’s CEO, Chase Carey, is said to be increasing confident about holding the season opener at the Red Bull Ring, adding that a revised calendar will be drawn up.
Brawn confirmed the plans to hold races back-to-back, in an interview on the newly-released F1 Nation podcast.
“It’s a real consideration because one of the logistical challenges is getting everyone tested and cleared to enter the paddock, to enter the racing environment,”
“I think once we do that it’s very attractive to keep everyone in that environment, within that biosphere, for another race.
“It’s also pretty challenging to find the right races early on where we can control the environment well enough.”
He continued: “Austria fits that bill very well. It has a local airport that people can charter planes too. It’s not close to a metropolis, it has the right infrastructure around it, in that there’ll be no motorhomes but there’ll be full catering facility laid on that the circuit has.
“We can basically contain everyone within that environment and therefore once we’re there it’s appealing to have another race the following week.”
Brawn also touched on the logistical challenges of racing in the current climate, due to social distancing measures and travel restrictions, but stressed that the sport is doing everything it can to adhere to the rules.
“[It’s] a massive logistical challenge, as you can imagine, because running an F1 race is a big challenge anyway, running an F1 race in these circumstances is new to all of us.”