The Austrian and British Grands Prix have quickly become the most likely candidates to host the opening four rounds of the truncated 2020 Formula 1 World Championship.
Overnight the Austrian and local Styrian governments confirmed they will not stand in opposition to the running of a double-header event at the Red Bull Ring on July 5 and 12, as long as the race is held behind closed doors with minimum staff and media personnel onsite.
The development comes just days after Silverstone boss Stuart Pringle said the British Grand Prix venue is “absolutely willing to host multiple F1 races” in late July/early-August in a bid to get a world championship season running.
Plans are also afoot that would see particular safety measures such as testing everyone before entering the venue implemented.
As was confirmed earlier in the year, all ten F1 teams have given full control over the rescheduling of a race calendar to the FIA as most are willing to begin racing as soon as appropriately possible.
Though whether venues such as Silverstone would be prepared to host races in the reverse direction remains in doubt.
The Red Bull Ring is a prime location to host a season-opening event behind closed doors due to being isolated from any major populated areas.The circuit also has an airport nearby which will allow ease of transport to and from the venue without coming into contact with the local population.
UK health authorities will be meeting next week to discuss and determine when sport can resume safely, including the British GP which will likely be held behind closed doors.
Due to the disruptions caused and their relative closeness to major cities, it would seem implausible that any street circuits would go ahead in the opening stage of the season.
Melbourne, Monaco, Baku and Montreal have all been either cancelled or postponed, with the Singapore Grand Prix slated for September 21 the next street circuit set to contest a world championship round.
Should the Austrian Grand Prix go ahead in July it could also open the door for the start of the MotoGP season which is currently set to go ahead from the Red Bull Ring on August 16.