Formula One unveils eight-race schedule in Europe from July 5
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Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc competes during the Italian F1 Grand Prix race in Italy, September 8, 2019. /VCG

Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc competes during the Italian F1 Grand Prix race in Italy, September 8, 2019. /VCG

The curtailed Formula One season will start with two races behind closed doors in Austria on July 5 and July 12, followed by six other Grand Prix races in Europe, the organizers said on Tuesday.

Formula One said it hoped to have between 15 and 18 races in total, with the season being completed in December.

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.

Last week, the Austrian government sanctioned the season-opening double-header at the Spielberg circuit after F1 organizers "presented a complete and professional plan" to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Charles Leclerc celebrates after winning the Italian F1 Grand Prix race at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, September 8, 2019. /VCG

Charles Leclerc celebrates after winning the Italian F1 Grand Prix race at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, September 8, 2019. /VCG

Regular health tests will be conducted with the number of team members and race staff at the venue also reduced. 

"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. 

He also said that Formula One will not cancel a race even if a driver tests positive for COVID-19, "We encourage teams to have procedures in place so if an individual has to be put in quarantine, we have the ability to quarantine them at a hotel and to replace that individual."  

He added, "a team not being able to race wouldn't cancel the race... we will have a procedure in place that finding infection will not lead to a cancellation. If a driver has an infection, (the teams have) reserve drivers available." 

Formula One expects some 1,200 essential personnel with the 10 teams limited to a maximum 80 people each compared to the more usual 130. 
Carey said he hoped to finalize the rest of the calendar by the end of June and recognized there were some races currently included which might not happen, but the sport had other options. 

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain drives the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium in Spa, Belgium, September 1, 2019. /VCG

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain drives the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium in Spa, Belgium, September 1, 2019. /VCG

Revised F1 calendar: 

July 3-5: Austrian Grand Prix (Spielberg) 

July 10-12: Styrian Grand Prix (Spielberg) 

July 17-19: Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest) 

July 31-August 2: British Grand Prix (Silverstone) 

August 7-9: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone) 

August 14-16: Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona) 

August 28-30: Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) 

September 4-6: Italian Grand Prix (Monza) 

(With input from agencies)