Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn admits the sport could host a race with just 12 cars present on the grid.
Article 5.7 of the 2020 sporting regulations that “an event may be cancelled if fewer than 12 cars are available for it”.
However, Brawn says that exceptional circumstances could see the FIA allowing for less cars to race.
Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there is little evidence predicting how the worldwide situation will look in the coming months.
Travel restrictions have been placed on a number of countries, including Italy, where the virus has hit hardest in Europe.
With a number of F1 associated outfits including Ferrari and AlphaTauri holding bases in Italy, complications may arise in the future if the F1 season gets underway with major travel restrictions still in place.
Speaking to Sky F1, Brawn said: “We need 12 cars or more to hold a championship race although that, actually, is at the discretion of the FIA.
“They could choose, in unusual circumstances, to allow less than that. But 12 cars is what’s written there.”
F1 and the FIA has affirmed that it is aiming to start the 2020 campaign at the end of May, with a revised calendar in place.
Four countries (Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China) have been forced to postpone their events, with more announcements from The Netherlands and Spain expected in the coming weeks.
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Russia ||27 Sep|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|