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Saturday's Formula 1 news roundup: Valtteri Bottas, George Russell, Lando Norris

Saturday's Formula 1 news roundup: Bottas, Russell, Norris
© Reuters
Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Saturday, July 11.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Saturday, July 11.

Saturday morning's Formula 1 news roundup:

Official says US GP 'in serious jeopardy'

US GP official Bobby Epstein has admitted the Austin race is likely to be called off for 2020.

As F1 adds Russia and Mugello to its now 10-race 'corona calendar', other rounds at Hockenheim, Imola, Portimao, Hanoi, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are tipped to soon follow.

But due to the ongoing pandemic, North and South American events in the US, Brazil and Mexico look unlikely.

Austin's Circuit of the Americas this week tweeted - and then deleted - that its MotoGP race for 2020 is definitely off.

And circuit chairman Epstein told the Austin American Statesman: "The Formula 1 US GP faces a similar situation, although they have scheduled stops in Brazil and Mexico.

"Those stops make a North American race more feasible, but the event is likewise in serious jeopardy," he added.

Other circuit officials said the venue in Austin, which has laid off half of its staff, does not have insurance that would cover a cancellation in the event of a pandemic.

A spokesman said that from a financial perspective, 2020 "has been a complete loss".

F1 coronavirus measures 'a bit strange' - Coulthard

David Coulthard pictured in April 2016© Reuters

Former F1 driver turned highly respected broadcaster David Coulthard says the 'ghost race' measures in Austria "seem a bit strange to me".

Strict procedures are in place at the Red Bull Ring, and for subsequent races, to guard against the risk of coronavirus infections.

Widespread testing, the scrapping of the traditional podium, personnel 'bubbles', mandatory mask-wearing and even social distancing during interviews are all in force.

"I'm sorry, but the whole thing seems a bit strange to me from the perspective of a TV commentator," Coulthard told the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.

"Keeping a distance is good, but interviewing drivers outdoors with masks with the questioner more than two metres away is an exaggeration.

"I don't want to criticise it, because it was a decision made by the authorities, the FIA and Formula One Management. But if everyone in public can get closer than that without a mask, it should be possible for the drivers too," he added.

"Every politician on television isn't wearing a mask. I just think it's questionable from a discrimination point of view as well. Why? Deaf people understand by reading lips, but they can't do that with these masks," said the former McLaren and Red Bull driver.

When asked if the measures can be eased up over the next races, Coulthard answered: "I want to believe the answer is yes.

"With the same protective measures as are in the paddock, you can have people in the grandstands," said the Scot. "It's much tighter in planes or trains than in outdoor grandstands where you can keep your distance."

More transfer news from Formula 1:

Aston Martin to 'think about' Vettel for 2021
Racing Point - to be Aston Martin next year - appears to be Sebastian Vettel's last hope of remaining in Formula 1 in 2021. Read more.

Kubica not hoping for Giovinazzi to replace Vettel
Robert Kubica smiled on Friday when asked if he is hoping to race Alfa Romeo's 2020 car later this season. Read more.

Sochi plans to welcome spectators to September race
Sochi could be the first race of 2020 that is watched trackside by spectators. Read more.

'Bottas 3.0' gets better every year - Wolff
Valtteri Bottas has taken another step forward, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. Read more.

Rain may force cancellation of qualifying - Masi
Eyes are turning to the skies above the Red Bull Ring, with qualifying likely to be affected by heavy rain. Read more.

Italian Grand Prix could welcome fans in September
The race at the Cathedral of Speed usually provides one of the most vibrant atmospheres of the year. Read more.

McLaren's Lando Norris handed three-place grid penalty
The Briton, who celebrated his podium last Sunday by playing Call of Duty, has picked up a three-place grid penalty for this weekend's race. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton finishes sixth in Styrian Grand Prix practice
The British driver was sixth fastest in FP2, which also saw Daniel Ricciardo crash out. Read more.

Lando Norris hit with three-place grid penalty for Styrian Grand Prix
The Briton was handed the punishment for overtaking Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly under yellow flags during opening practice here in Spielberg. Read more.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez makes impressive start in Austria
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished second. Read more.

Ferrari to celebrate 1,000th grand prix on home track
The Mugello race will be the third instalment of another triple-header, following grands prix in Spa and Monza. Read more.

On this day in 1994: Damon Hill triumphs at the British Grand Prix
Damon Hill took advantage of Michael Schumacher's run-in with officials. Read more.

Picture of the day - Ayrton Senna wins 1988 British Grand Prix
Brilliant Brazilian Ayrton Senna won a rain-lashed British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1988. Read more.

Driver 'shocked' by Ferrari power loss
Carlos Sainz says he is not yet worrying about his move to Ferrari for 2021. Read more.

Schumacher hoping for Friday outings in 2020
Mick Schumacher is hoping to be able to drive a Formula 1 car again in 2020. Read more.

FIA warns teams over coronavirus breaches
Ferrari and Mercedes have been warned about a breach of the strict coronavirus measures in force for the back-to-back races in Austria. Read more.

Mercedes duo look to sign new deals for 2021
Mercedes' current drivers appear to be making moves to ink new deals for 2021. Read more.


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