The 2020 Formula One season, which was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic, will start in July, organisers announced on Tuesday. The season will begin with two races behind closed doors in Austria on July 5 and July 12 followed by six other grand prix in Europe, the dates for which have been confirmed so far.

The other races will be held in Hungary, Spain, Belgium, Italy as well as back-to-back races in Great Britain. All eight raced are currently set to be closed door events, operating under the safety procedures.

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Formula One said it hoped to have between 15 and 18 races in total, with the season being completed in December. The further races will be announced in the coming weeks, they said.

“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,” said F1 chief executive Chase Carey.

“But we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”

The F1 season was thrown into chaos with the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in March only hours before practice was due to begin as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world. Melbourne was one of 10 races either cancelled or postponed.

With AFP Inputs