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Formula 1 Thinks Racing Could Resume as Early as July—Without Fans

A statement from the CEO represents a further delay to the start of racing, which had been expected in May.

During the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, things are fluid and change quickly. Back in mid-March, Formula 1 had expected the season to start by the end of May. Now, it looks like that's not going to happen, but new guidance from Chairman and CEO of F1 Chase Carey reveals the series is now targeting Austria from July 3 through 5 as the first race weekend of the season.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the cancellation of the French Grand Prix the same morning. And while Carey doesn't see fan attendance being a part of the initial races, the series will evaluate the situation and allow fans if and when the circumstances allow.

For now, the plan is to host races in Eurasia, Asia, and the Americas in September, October, and November. That would mean the series would host between 15 and 18 races before the traditional series finale in Abu Dhabi. Carey promises a calendar will be revealed soon with particular dates and locales.

But of course, there are no guarantees. The previous plan for racing in May has gone out the window. And Carey admits that there are still particulars to work out with regard to traveling and operating safely in each of the host countries.

More interesting, F1 and the FIA have been collaborating on new rules that should make the series more interesting for fans and more cost-effective for teams. What those rule changes and financial arrangements are, we can't venture a guess from Carey's oblique statement.

Let's just put it this way: Whether or not betting is legal in your area, we wouldn't like the odds of racing resuming in Austria in a few short weeks. We'd love to be proven wrong, however.