Franz Tost, AlphaTauri, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

F1’s first races without fans will have ‘strange atmosphere’

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1’s first closed events with no spectators presents will seem strange, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said after the championship’s resumption was announced today.

The heavily delayed start of the 2020 season will take place on July 5th with the first of two back-to-back races behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring. Tost praised the efforts of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in making sure the race could go ahead.

“A big thank you to Dietrich Mateschitz and Red Bull for hosting Formula 1 in Spielberg, to enable Formula 1 to start the season, and to get back to work,” said Tost. “It took a lot of time and effort to receive the approval from the government. This is also the result of the negotiations Dr [Helmut] Marko started with the authorities several weeks ago.”

“Of course the atmosphere will be strange and it is a shame that no spectators can attend,” he added, “but this is an important first step on getting Formula 1 back to normal as soon as possible.

“The standards imposed are very rigorous and we have already employed them ourselves in our facilities in Faenza and Bicester, which led to essential staff being able to return to work on 1st June to prepare for the season. It is vital from a business point of view and also as a sign that life is getting back to normal.”

Red Bull has “pulled out all the stops to get the Austrian Grand Prix up and running in order to support a safe start to the Formula 1 season” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

“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.

“There was obviously a huge amount of discussion behind the scenes with Liberty, the FIA and the local authorities to ensure that returning to racing is done responsibly and we all have our part to play in order to enforce the measures in place. With the first eight races of the calendar now confirmed we have some positive momentum.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 3 comments on “F1’s first races without fans will have ‘strange atmosphere’”

    1. Yes, a big “Thank you” to all those involved in trying to get the cars safely back racing. Now we’ll find out how good Racing Point’s new car is.

    2. I hope this will cause the penny to drop in F1 that the focus is really on the 99% who don’t watch races live, and that things like sound, infrastructure, atmosphoere and all those ‘be and end all’ topics etc doesn’t really matter compared to the racing and production.

    3. Won’t be strange for the FIA or Liberty. They don’t listen to fans and now won’t have to see them. It’s like they don’t exist.

      Which is how it should be – silent, invisible consumers of an increasingly irrelevant series.

    Comments are closed.