Speaking to Tom Clarkson and Alex Jacques on the F1 Nation Podcast, Ross Brawn explained why Austria would be an ideal location to start to the season due to the current pandemic – and that two races on back-to-back weekends at the Red Bull Racing ‘’is appealing’’ to him.
“One of the logistical challenges is getting everyone tested and cleared to enter the racing environment. Once we do that, it’s very attractive to keep everyone in that environment, within that biosphere that we want to create, for another race.
“It’s also pretty challenging to find the right sort of races early on where we can control the environment well enough to ensure the safety of everyone. Austria fits that bill very well. It has a local airport right next to the circuit, where people can charter planes into. It’s not too close to a metropolis.
“It has a great infrastructure around it, for instance, there will be no motorhomes, but there will be a full catering facility laid on that the circuit has. We can contain everyone within that environment and therefore once we are there it is appealing to have another race the following week.”
Of course, there will be no fans if the season does begin in Austria. Brawn says it must be a safe environment in the paddock before the season can get going and that all requirements must be met.
“It’s a massive logistical challenge because running a Formula 1 race is a big challenge anyway,” he said. “Running a Formula 1 race in the circumstances is something which is new to all of us and we’re working through all the requirements to make sure we operate in a safe environment for the drivers, for the engineers, for the technicians, for everyone involved in the race, and we put on the right sort of show.
“Unfortunately it will be without fans, which is a great shame, but we still feel we can take the race out to all the fans and watchers on TV and other means.’’
“It’s important for us to try and get the season going, many reasons for wanting to start the season. One is to excite the fans, who have all been frustrated with the delays. We have a very exciting season in front of us, but it is a very important livelihood for thousands of people - and that is another reason for trying to kickstart the season."