Carey confirms Austrian double-header kick-off plans

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Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey confirmed that the sport was targeting two consecutive races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria to kick off the 2020 season in July.

Formula 1 is currently working hard to rebuild a calendar following the cancellation or postponement of the first ten races of the season.

The idea of holding double-header race weekends at the same venue emerged as a way of helping the sport make up its numbers while simplifying logistics for the organization of two events.

"Our goal is to launch the season on the weekend of July 4th and 5th in Austria. It is likely that we race the weekend of July 11th and 12th in Austria as well," Carey said on Formula 1's first quarter conference on Thursday.

"We are in the advanced stages of putting together a schedule of additional European races through early September, including races during the traditional August break."

F1's boss also confirmed the inevitable scenario of holding races without any fans in the grandstands to comply with each country's restrictive measures, assuming countries allow F1 to host an event.

"We expect the early part of the calendar to be races without fans but we hope to be able to allow fans to attend in the latter part of the year," he added.

"We are working with the FIA, local authorities and other experts to identify the steps and procedures necessary to safely transport everyone to each race location and to enable those individuals to operate and be housed in a safe and secure manner.

"We feel increasingly positive about the number of locations that will be able, and want, to hold races this year."

Among the venues earmarked as potential destinations for F1 this summer are tracks that "are not currently on our 2020 calendar", revealed Carey, perhaps hinting at potential rounds that could take place at Hockenheim or Imola, two circuits that have recently offered their infrastructure to F1.

"We have been working tirelessly since Australia and we’re actively engaged with our promoters in putting together a potential 2020 race calendar," said Carey.

"We have two primary challenges: Identifying locations where we can hold a race and determining how we transport all necessary parties and their equipment to that location for a race.

"We’re in discussions with all of our promoters as well some tracks that are not currently on our 2020 calendar to make sure that we explore all options."

Despite the various scenarios and projections, Carey felt compelled to offer one caveat during today's conference call when he said that there remained  "the remote possibility " of no racing taking place in 2020.

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