McLaren CEO Zak Brown is “optimistic” that the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship will include “more than eight” races. However, he does not believe that Liberty Media’s plan to hold 16 to 18 grands prix despite the coronavirus pandemic will work: “I’m a little more pessimistic. If I were in Vegas now and I would have to bet, I would be 14 or 15 races on ten tracks. ”
Brown speaks in an extensive exclusive interview with the podcast of our sister platform ‘Autosport’ under the hashtag #ThinkingForward about the challenges that Formula 1 faces during the corona crisis. The racing calendar, on which those responsible are currently working under high pressure, is a central topic.
“As far as I know, the plan is to run 18 races on 15 tracks,” reveals Brawn. But: “I assume that one or the other breakdown will occur.” In particular with regard to the entry and exit regulations for the 1,500 to 2,000 employees of the Formula 1 circus, which are mandatory for the staging of a Grand Prix.
“IndyCar,” says the motorsport specialist, “has the advantage that everything happens in one country. Even if Austria and Silverstone should be ready: we don’t know if a second wave is coming or what will happen in Asia when we get there want or in America. ”
“As soon as we get on the planes and fly overseas, the risk increases,” warns Brawn. “Therefore there are talks about more races in Europe […]. For a long time we only had 16 races as a rule. 14 to 15 races would be a real world championship for me. Especially in such a short period of time. ”
The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, where, according to current planning, the season kick-off is to take place on July 5 and 12 with two “ghost races” without spectators and media representatives, is predestined for a TV event during the pandemic for several reasons. Firstly because of the nearby military airport, secondly because of the rural population density.
With regard to Silverstone, too, one could avoid the major airports in Heathrow or Gatwick and land in Luton instead: “I can already see how we can get these first four races in a very short time.” And that could be the “momentum” for other events: “Because then people see: ‘Hey, that works!'”