MX23RW : Friday, July 23 19:57:51| >> :120:4174:4174:

Domenicali hopes for 'full' grandstands in Austria

Domenicali hopes for 'full' grandstands in Austria
© Reuters
Formula 1 is hoping for "completely full" grandstands in Austria next weekend.

Formula 1 is hoping for "completely full" grandstands in Austria next weekend.

However, local authorities in charge of the region surrounding the Red Bull Ring have only approved a crowd of 15,000 for the first leg of the double-header this weekend.

"The sophisticated concept contains strict measures for health protection," the authorities announced.

That 'concept' involves five clusters of 3,000 spectators around the circuit in Zeltweg, the strict allocation of seats and parking, and mask-wearing.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said it was "great" to see 15,000 spectators also able to attend last weekend's French GP at Paul Ricard.

"Now we hope that there will already be a lot of spectators for the first race in Austria, and a week later we see stands that are completely full," he said.

"If we comply with all of the safety requirements set by each country, then we will see more spectators at the following grands prix.

"That will be the perfect complement to such an exciting season."

However, some F1 team officials admitted at Paul Ricard that they fear the sport's plans for a full 23-race calendar may be wishful thinking.

"We have discussed this plan with the teams," Domenicali insists.

"23 races is our goal, and we will do whatever is necessary to realise it. When the season is so interesting, we don't want to miss a single race."

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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