Start, F2, Red Bull Ring, 2019

F2 and F3 aiming to join F1’s season-opener in Austria

Formula 2

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Formula 1’s junior categories Formula 2 and Formula 3 are hoping to begin their seasons alongside the world championship in July, RaceFans understands.

Multiple sources have indicated the junior categories intend to hold their first races of 2020 at the Austrian Grand Prix weekend on July 5th and head to Silverstone for the following rounds. Both championships were already due to appear on the F1 support bill on those weekend.

Formula 1 has targeted the Red Bull Ring’s event to hold its first race weekend of 2020 after its first 10 rounds were cancelled or postponed due to the global pandemic. The Austrian round is the first on the feeder series’ calendars which has not been called off.

The number of extra staff necessary to hold F2 and F3 races may present an obstacle. F1 is planning to hold its first races behind closed doors in order to limit the number of people who are needed to attend. However the junior series’ teams require far fewer personnel than their F1 counterparts.

F2 and F3’s first races were originally scheduled to take place as support events to the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 22nd, before it was called off. That race is now due to take place in December according to Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.

F2 and F3 did not respond to a request for comment.

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    Keith Collantine
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  • 6 comments on “F2 and F3 aiming to join F1’s season-opener in Austria”

    1. If they’re doing double weekends anyway, why not solve the problem of too many staff by hosting F2 on one weekend and F3 on the next. By not packing the schedule with a load of races and sessions, it means there’s only F1 and one other series needing on-track action, thus reducing the time marshals, medics, photographers and cameramen are required to be around and at risk of contact with other members. If the support series’ alternate for each race weekend, it’ll reduce the burden on everyone required to turn up.

    2. Multiple sources have indicated the junior categories intend to hold their first races of 2020 at the Austrian Grand Prix weekend on July 5th and head to Silverstone for the following rounds.

      All three Formulas were originally booked to race at the Red Bull Ring. However, up until now there’s only been mention of F1 at the Grand Prix in Austria, but now we discover F2 and F3 will be there as well. So did Liberty Media and the FIA’s discussions with the Austrian Government specifically include these other racing series’s, or did F2 and F3 get “forgotten”? If Liberty Media and the FIA asked the Austrian Government to only allow “1400 recently tested people for an F1 race”, then that’s who should turn up. Or if they asked for “1400 recently tested F1 people plus another several hundred also tested for an F2 and a couple of hundred tested for an F3 race” and the Austrian Government approved that, then that’s what should turn up.
      I’m guessing there will be similar precautions taken by F2 and F3 as will be taken by F1 teams to minimise the possibility of transmission of the virus.

      1. @drycrust I would have assumed the talks were for the entire package, since F1 was the most difficult part to do; getting F2-F3-Supercup as a weekend would be simpler in every respect except payment.

    3. Hmm, surely if one person on any team tests positive, that team is toast?

    4. That’s just madness. It’s already a risk having all the staff necessary to hold an F1 race, but they want to have the garages and grounds chock full of even more people now… just silly.

      1. @DavidH Support paddocks are rarely anywhere near the F1 paddock. It shouldn’t be a problem, provided there are no staff using both paddocks (a relatively tractable problem) and the marshal interaction is minimal (the less tractable issue).

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