Bernie Ecclestone sees little hope of Formula 1 races taking place this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and would have abandoned the entire season if he was still in charge.

The COVID-19 outbreak has already resulted in a delayed start to the 2020 campaign, with the opening eight races getting either postponed or cancelled.

F1 is now hopeful of getting the season underway at the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14, but there are growing doubts over whether the Montreal round can be staged.

Speaking exclusively to Reuters, Ecclestone said he cannot see any racing taking place until after July’s British Grand Prix at the earliest and suggested he would have already called off the season in its entirety.

"Today what would I do? I think I'd have to say we're going to close down talk of having any races this year,” the 89-year-old former F1 supremo said.

"That's the only thing you could do safely for everybody so nobody starts making silly arrangements which may not be able to happen.

"It's unfortunate but that's how it is.”

Current F1 CEO Chase Carey recently stated the championship is aiming to hold at least 15-18 races with the season getting started at “some point” during the summer months.

F1 teams have already agreed to bring forward the summer break to free up August to potentially reschedule those races which have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Asked about Carey's target of arranging a calendar with 15-18 races, Ecclestone said: "I'd be very, very, very surprised if they managed to achieve that.

"I hope they do. I really hope they do. They could run three or four races at the beginning of next year and still count to the 2020 championship.

"The problem is where are you going to have them where the teams can go and the promoter wants to run a race.

"It's all very well making the calendar, which you can do while you wait. The big problem is getting the promoters to want to run the race."

 

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