No fans and no media part of Liberty Media’s plan to start 2020 Formula 1 season

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Alike with so many other sporting institutions across the world, Formula 1 is desperately trying to figure out how they are to structure the upcoming season on the back of what has been a cataclysmic global pandemic.

F1 are currently drawing up plans to race in Austria & Britain and that would potentially mean limiting attendance to just team personnel only.

Liberty Media and the FIA have this week discussed measures to enable a new season to get underway with safe and proper precautions put in place, beginning with the Grand Prix in Speilberg on July 5.

Motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is suggesting a double-header take place having initially touted only one race would go ahead at the Red Bull Ring.

He told F1-insider.com: “It now looks very good that we can host two races. We are ready.

“Liberty insists that the number of people is kept as low as possible. This means: There will only be television on site, no media representatives otherwise, but support races can be held."

This would suggest that F2 and F3 would also see their respective championships get underway in Austria, obviously meaning more personnel to be able to facilitate. However, Marko remains adamant that appropriate coronavirus measures will be put in place.

Marko added: “There will be strict requirements within the paddock and the racetrack: Minimum distance must be maintained, masks must be worn.

“Finally, there are good reasons to be optimistic.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown appeared on an interview, speaking with BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, and he claimed: "Everything is very tentative, but it would go on its scheduled date but closed to fans.

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"In fact, it looks like possibly all the European rounds will most likely be in that scenario.

"With now our condensed schedule, what's the best way to get as much racing done as possible? One of those ideas is potentially multiple events at the same location, Silverstone being one of those.”

A lot is, of course, riding on how the government decides to ease restrictions and determining when is the right time to do so.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff also had his say on the matter, speaking on the last episode of Mercedes’ ‘Deep Dive’ series: “Formula 1 is an entertainment platform and a sport, and we are all missing it.

“But I think we have to contribute to what everybody is doing to help to reduce the cases and get ourselves out of this terrible phase.

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“The most important thing is the health and wellbeing of all of us, our families and our friends and our colleagues in the team and in Daimler.

“I think you have seen various data and rumours spreading around, you hear about singular cases that are real outliers that shouldn’t be affected as badly as they are," he added.

“Add to the equation the various strategies of the governments: Austria, my home country, adopted a very early lockdown policy and three weeks later the virus is on its way down and the government is thinking about slowly re-opening to normal life.

“Then you see Sweden has adopted a totally different strategy and has remained basically as before, adding the component of social distancing, and others have been in total lockdown.

“We are really fighting an unknown enemy here.”

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