Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn has confirmed the sport’s plans to try and hold two races at certain venues when the 2020 season kicks off, with a week separating each event.
As F1 works to re-build its calendar following multiple cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic, the idea of holding back-to-back races on the same track has been tabled as an efficient way of adding to the sport’s schedule.
But Brawn underscores the “attractive” logistical and safety advantages of a plan that could be implemented at the Red Bull Ring when F1 is expected to start is season and at Silverstone.
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“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,” Brawn said in a Formula 1 podcast.
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“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.
“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.”
While F1’s plan of setting up double-headers offers many advantages, the scheme can only be implemented if it complies with the departing and arrival country’s travel restrictions and safety measures.
Brawn admits that putting together such a road map is a very complicated undertaking.
“[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,” he explained.
“We’re working our way through all the requirements to make sure we operate in a safe environment for the drivers, engineers, technicians, for everyone involved, and we put on the right show.
“It’s important to get the season going, for many reasons, one is obviously to excite the fans, we’ve all been frustrated by the delays and it’s also a very important livelihood for thousands of people.”
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