Doubts form over Hungarian GP due to government restrictions

The start of the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

The prospect of the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix being postponed or cancelled has risen due to an extension of government restrictions on mass gatherings.

Although Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a gradual easing of restrictions triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19, events drawing more than 500 people remain prohibited at least until August 15.

The Hungaroring was to have hosted F1 on July 31-August 2 and while there has been no official word on the fate of the grand prix, the government’s announcement has led to the cancellation of music festivals such as Sziget event, the country’s largest.

F1 is aiming to finally start the season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on July 3-5, its original date, albeit without crowds.

Silverstone has also advised that the British Grand Prix, should it go ahead, will also be run behind closed doors and there is the possibility of both that circuit and the Red Bull Ring hosting multiple races.

The French Grand Prix, which was to have preceded Austria by a week, is the latest event to be cancelled but the Hockenheimring has tentatively put its hand up to host a race after the German Grand Prix did not make the 2020 calendar.

F1 CEO Chase Carey is still targeting 15 to 18 races this year as compared to what would have been a record-breaking 22-round season.

For now, teams remain in an extended shutdown period which was brought forward from its customary (northern) summer slot.

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