The Hungarian Grand Prix is confident it can hold a Formula One race in some form on August 2, which the head of the race insists is still a viable date despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The start of the F1 season has been indefinitely delayed by the global crisis, with the first ten races either postponed or cancelled outright. F1 is hoping to start the season with a behind-closed-doors race in Austria on July 5 — series CEO Chase Carey says he is “increasingly confident” of holding races in the European summer.
On the original 2020 race schedule, Great Britain and Hungary were the two races which followed Austria. Silverstone, the host of the British Grand Prix, has already informed fans any race it holds this year will be without spectators.
The boss of the Hungarian GP is open to all solutions for the Budapest event.
“We are in a daily contact with the rights holder,” Hungaroring circuit CEO Zsolt Gyulay told Autosport. “Liberty [Media, F1 owners] is aware that we are open for all kinds of solutions, and we are ready for organising a race. The way it takes is definitely beyond our control, and it depends on the situation the country is in.
“We are waiting for the relaxation of the measures, and how and when life goes back to normal. Along with the Austrians and the British we have confirmed, too, that we are fully committed to starting the F1 season.”
Gyulay also insisted the original August 2 date is doable, although discussions about a behind-closed-doors event or holding two races across one weekend are yet to begin with F1.
“We have talked about the option of a closed door race, but its protocol is still being developed for Austria.If it has been developed certainly we will comply with the regulations as well.
“Of course, a lot depends on the government’s set of rules, too. However, one thing is sure, for both the government and the Hungaroring it is very important to organise the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“There are two options. The first one is that we organise a race closed to fans, similarly to Austria. Certainly, it would mean a huge loss for the promoter.
“The second option is to organise the race with fans, in which we have 35 years of experience. Last year we broke the audience number record, and based on the pre-sold tickets, a similar number was expected for this year’s race.
“Of course, ticket purchase has stopped since the coronavirus outbreak started, and we must adapt to the new situation. Although the utilisation of the track is suspended now, we continuously do the maintenance at the circuit, which is in good condition, since we are prepared for the Hungarian GP to be held on 2 August.”