Ex-boss Ecclestone expects at least eight F1 races this year
MUNICH –Long-time former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone believes that at least eight races can be staged this year despite coronavirus-related restrictions.
Ecclestone told Britain's Sunday Express paper that owners Liberty Media "should be able to have eight races with no problems."
Eight is the minimum number of grands prix needed to be classified as a world championship by the ruling body FIA.
F1 organizers hope to contest 15 to 18 races from July onwards in a revised calendar after the first 10 grands prix have been postponed or cancelled because of the outbreak.
But others have raised doubts because sport is a global one with teams based in three countries, races on several continents and travel restrictions still in place in many regions.
The action is to start behind closed doors on July 5 in Austria, and Ecclestone admitted the biggest problem was whether the Italy-based teams Ferrari and Alpha Tauri and tyre makers Pirelli could travel.
F1's motorsport boss Ross Brawn has said this could be possible because a "very enclosed environment" is planned where "the teams come in on charters, we channel them into the circuit, we make sure everyone's tested, cleared, there's no risk to anyone and we have a race without spectators."
Ecclestone also said that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was ready to stage the race on the Spielberg course but "won't pay the (hosting) fee because he isn't going to sell any tickets."DPA