The Hungarian Grand Prix organisers have announced in a press conference held on Thursday that the circuit would be fully prepared for the third round of the revised 2020 F1 season, guaranteeing maximum safety and health.
Formula 1 has presented its all-new 2020 calendar on Tuesday following lengthy discussions with circuits, race promoters and various authorities. The schedule sees Austria kick off the 71th season of the sport with a second round at Spielberg just a week after the season-opening race.
Following the first two races, the field will make the short trip to the Hungaroring for the Hungarian Grand Prix that is scheduled to take place on July 19 at the last round of the first triple-header in 2020.
The circuit is working together with the group led by Dr. Béla Merkely to promote the well-being and safety of drivers, teams and the organising personnel. He has revealed that his group will be present at the circuit with a complete laboratory in order to ensure that maximum safety is guaranteed.
“We will be present with a complete laboratory, so we can detect the active virus on site within 50 minutes, if necessary. We can do a lot of research, of course, at the university.”
„If necessary, we can take two thousand tests in a few hours and provide their finding within 8 hours at the latest. It depends on what the demand is, what the rules will be. We also have the ability to do it every day if we have to, but if we don’t, I think every two days will be enough.”
The organisers will also use an application, termed VirusRadar to monitor the situation. Should someone get infected by the COVID-19 virus, the tracking application could help find out the previous movements and contacts of the infected person.
"It's a harmless app, it doesn't collect any other data, it only aimed at storing the contacts of someone who has downloaded it on his mobile phone, and from that you can roll back his complete network of contacts."
The closeness of the Hungaroring circuit to the capital of Budapest could theoretically entice people to travel to the track and install grandstands to follow the race outside the confines of the course. However, the organisers are working on a protocol in order to prevent any kind of mass gatherings.
While the Hungaroring had been holding meetings about the revised F1 2020 schedule with the Commercial Rights Holder, the Hungarian circuit has also discussed the future of the event on the grand prix calendar.
CEO of Hungaroring, Zsolt Gyulay has revealed that the circuit has extended its contract with Liberty Media. The original contract would have expired at the end of 2026 while the extension will guarantee the future of the Hungarian Grand Prix until at least 2027. The former sprint canoeist has also confirmed that the hosting fees have been lowered.
"It is a great success that we started to bargain for less increase [of the hosting fees] in the coming years, and extended the contract expiring in 2026 until 2027, and we were able to save nearly HUF 6 billion for the Hungarian government for the next seven years."
“Hungaroring Sport Zrt. has lost all its revenue since the beginning of the year, because its revenue originates from track activities and Formula 1 ticket sales, which account for 80% of the revenue. At the beginning of the negotiations, we started to discuss on how much hosting fee we could pay,” he said.