Red Bull is hoping to boost fan attendance at next month's Austria double header, thanks in large part to the Red Bull Ring's unique circuit design.
The cancellation of both the Canadian Grand Prix and the replacement Turkish round means that the venue will once again host back-to-back events. The Styrian Grand Prix is first up on June 27 followed a week later by the official Austrian GP.
The Red Bull Ring hosted the first two races of 2020 but was unable to admit any fans to the grandstand because of coronavirus. While the rules have been relaxed for this year, there is still an official limit of 3,000 fans at outdoor events being held in the country during June.
However Red Bull management believe they have found a way around this limit, which should allow them to open up to more than ten times that number.
Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko explained that it was all down to the way that the circuit facilities had been laid out and constructed.
“The grandstands all have their own entrance and exit,"he told the Formel1.de YouTube channel this week. "This means that each grandstand is a separate unit
"The spectators will not come into contact with each other,” he stated, suggesting if each of the 13 grandstands could be considered individually it would be possible to admit up to 39,000 people on the day.
“Red Bull has already shown what a super organisation it is, and that we can organise in a very efficient way with test certificates, surveys or whatever is prescribed by the authorities or the government.
“I therefore assume that we will have an acceptable number of spectators," he said. While this is yet to be signed off by the authorities, the official response appeared supportive.
"This is a very important event that is also prestigious for Austria," stated Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
"We will certainly find a solution here as to how the safety standards are met on the one hand, but how the event can take place in a familiar manner on the other."
The current official COVID rules cover the Styrian GP, but more relaxed guidance might be issued in time for events being held in July. That could change the outlook for the Austrian race on July 4.
"June 25 is not yet July 1," Kurz stated. "It also requires the necessary common sense in politics. And due to the size of the area and the good concepts of the organisers, I am very, very confident."
However the issue of Austria currently banning direct flights from the UK where most of the Formula 1 teams are based could yet prove to be an even bigger headache for the promoters and organisers.
Marko was taking a relaxed view of the situation: “We still have some time to go until the races," he commented, adding that he expected the issues to be “resolved by then”.
The 78year-old Austrian has just topped up his COVID vaccine, receiving a second dose of AstraZeneca on Thursday.