LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One confirmed on Tuesday it would start its delayed season in Austria on July 5 with eight races in Europe over the space of 10 weeks.
It will be the first time Austria’s Red Bull Ring has hosted a season-opener. Races will also be held without spectators and with more than one grand prix at the same circuit.
The following is some reaction to the news:
“We take on this challenge unique in the history of F1, and we are looking forward to both weekends. Spielberg will see exciting races — and therefore send a strong sign of feasibility to the whole world.” - Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz.
“It’s a fantastic venue and we are pleased to be starting our championship campaign at our home circuit. It has been a huge effort by all involved and the two events at the Red Bull Ring will be a blueprint for all other races to follow.” - Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“While clearly it won’t be the same without the fans in the grandstands — and we’ll sorely miss their enthusiasm and support — it’s entirely sensible to start the season behind closed doors.” - Racing Point principal Otmar Szafnauer.
“We’re going to go racing. That’s awesome. Very happy to hear that we finally get some dates and we can go racing... I can’t wait to go racing, to see the team again, feel the car... it’s going to be a bit different than it was before for a little while but we go racing.” - Haas driver Romain Grosjean.
“Of course the atmosphere will be strange and it is a shame that no spectators can attend, but this is an important first step on getting Formula One back to normal as soon as possible.” - AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.
“As a driver you get this real buzz when you arrive at the track and you’ve got all the fans there cheering you on... it’s going to be back to like when I used to race in Formula Four or Formula Three when you just had a couple of hundred people here or there just watching. But I’m sure we’ll get used to it.” - Williams driver George Russell.
“Congratulations to everyone who made this happen. Looking forward to the first race in Austria. I will be there.” - FIA president Jean Todt on Twitter.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Toby Davis