Brown: No guarantee F1 will get 15-18 races

Chase Carey, Zak Brown

Formula 1’s stated goal of “15-18” races in 2020 might be harder to realise than some think, warns McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

Set to resume this weekend in Austria after the hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 currently has eight races on its calendar with plans to add more in the coming weeks.

However, Brown suggests that the fluidity of the situation with the coronavirus across different countries means the sport might have to settle for less grands prix.

“I don’t think there’s a guarantee that we’re going to get in as many races as we hope,” he told the F1 Nation podcast. “I think we will, but I don’t think that just because we’re going to ‘race one’ that life’s back to normal.

“I think we have to be very careful, very diligent, follow the rules, be very conservative. Obviously we’re all excited to go back racing.

“But we need to keep our head down and make sure we do get through this year. We will have all survived if we’ve done a great job over this last three or four months – but we’ve still got a ways to go.”

With the coronavirus still a threat, F1 has implemented new bio-safety protocols to try and stop a confirmed case in the paddock from cancelling a race, as transpired at the season-opener in Melbourne.

At the same time, many countries still have travel bans or quarantine restrictions in place for foreign arrivals, something that is particularly pertinent for F1 destinations yet to be ruled-out in 2020 such as coronavirus hot-spots Russia, the USA, and Brazil.