Alex Albon's Formula 1 season set to start with double header at his Red Bull team's home circuit in Austria from July 5
After a delay of close to four months – with the opening Grand Prix in Australia cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – Bures-raised Alex Albon's 2020 Formula 1 season is to begin in the familiar surroundings of his team's Red Bull Ring next month.
The first eight races of the revised calendar, which will be held behind closed doors and amid strict safety measures including on circuit testing, were released earlier today.
This year's F1 racing will start with two historic firsts – Austria will host the opening race of an F1 season for the first time, and two races will be held at the same circuit on consecutive weekends.
The Formula 1 Rolex Großer Preis von Österreich is to open the season on July 5, while the Formula 1 Pirelli Großer Preis der Steiermark is to follow on July 12.
The Hungarian Grand Prix will follow a week after that, before a break. Then there will be two back to back races at Silverstone, followed by the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The Belgian Grand Prix will follow that, with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza a week later on September 6. All the races will be supported by Formula 2 and Formula 3.
The measures introduced to combat the pandemic mean another first is needed. For the first time a Formula 1 race will take place without any fans.
Millions of motorsport fans around the world have the opportunity to follow both races at the Red Bull Ring via TV and online. After months without any major international sport events, all eyes will be on Austria.
Chase Carey, CEO of Formula 1, has stressed the importance of the restart, saying: "It’s an exciting time as Formula 1 returns and we are delighted to be starting the season in Austria with two races.
"We have a superb partner in the Red Bull Ring and we are working together to bring F1 back for fans in the safest possible way.
"While we are looking forward to commencing the excitement on track it is also an important time to remember what else we can do as an international sport for the communities we visit as well as celebrating the incredible acts of kindness shown by thousands of people around the world in response to the Covid-19 crisis.”
He added: "While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”
Former Nayland schoolboy Albon has been keeping his hand in during the lockdown by taking part in the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series.
He carried off the win at Virtual Brazilian Grand Prix on the Interlagos circuit at the start of last month before following it up with successive fourth-placed finishes in the Spanish and Monaco Virtual Grand Prix.
The next round takes place on the Baku circuit in Azerbaijan on Sunday and will again be broadcast live on SKY Sports F1 and via F1.com's YouTube channel.
More by this authorRussell Claydon
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)