Formula 1 TV Schedule 2020: Styrian GP Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream

The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to polarize attention as Formula 1 returns to Austria for the second consecutive weekend of its shortened season.

The sport was widely praised for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak when the season eventually got underway at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, almost four months on since its scheduled start in Australia.

Earlier this week, however, Formula 1 faced an unwanted reminder of the difficulties it faces in keeping its bio-secure bubble intact after Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc broke coronavirus protocols to return to Monaco.

The latter was given an official warning by the FIA—motorsport's governing body—after he was pictured in a restaurant with friends and warned that "any further breaches could be referred to the stewards," while Bottas was found not to have breached guidelines as he stayed within his bubble along with his girlfriend and trainer.

"I did [go] back home," Leclerc was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"On the other hand, I've been tested twice before coming back. So in two days, testing twice, both negative obviously. That's it."

Bottas and Leclerc finished first and second on Sunday in an action-packed race and the Finn will be looking to make it two straight wins in the second consecutive race at the Red Bull Ring, a track where Mercedes has recorded five wins in the last seven years.

Scheduling two races at the same track is unheard of in modern-day Formula 1, never mind in consecutive weekends but with the sport navigating uncharted waters because of the COVID-19 outbreak, organizers have sought to minimize travel in between countries.

For that reason, the Red Bull Ring hosts the first running of the Styrian GP—named after the Austrian region where the track is located—this weekend in what will likely be a one-off event, with Silverstone also playing host to two races at the beginning of next month.

Originally scheduled to be contested over a record 22 races, the exact number of events the season will contain remains unknown. On Friday, Formula 1 executives confirmed two more races were added to the eight on the calendar, with Mugello joining Monza as the second Italian track to host a race this season on September 13 and the Russian GP in Sochi retaining its original pre-pandemic slot of September 27.

Meanwhile, reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton insisted his focus remained as sharp as ever, despite a disappointing season opener last week. The six-time world champion was beaten to pole position by his teammate Bottas on Saturday and was then handed a five-second penalty in the race after colliding with Red Bull's Alex Albon.

The penalty demoted the Briton from third to fourth on a weekend when Hamilton had made headlines as he reiterated his vocal anti-racism stand. He was one of the 14 drivers who took a knee on the grid in support of campaigns calling for social change.

"I don't feel like I need to refocus, on Sunday my race was pretty strong," Hamilton was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "I would not say I was distracted by any means. I continue to stay focused as I was before. Both to fight and win this championship but also fighting for equal rights."

Here's all you need to know ahead of Sunday.

When is the Styrian Grand Prix?

The second race of the shortened Formula 1 season gets underway at 3:10 p.m. local time (9:10 a.m. ET) on July 12.

Where is the Styrian Grand Prix?

The Red Bull Ring hosts the second round of the 2020 World Championship, after hosting the Austrian GP last week.

Located in Spielberg, on the picturesque Styrian mountains, the track was a staple of the Formula One calendar from its debut in 1970 until 1987, when it was refurbished and modernized.

After a 10-year hiatus the track hosted the Austrian Grand Prix from 1997 until 2011, when it again underwent extensive work to make it compliant with the requirements of modern Formula One.

Since its second return to the calendar, the Red Bull Ring has been a happy hunting ground for Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas' win last week was the German team's fifth triumph in seven seasons.

TV channel

The Styrian Grand Prix will be broadcast live by ESPN. Coverage of race day begins at 8 a.m. ET on Sunday, with the race scheduled to get underway 35 minutes later.

Live stream

Live stream will be available via ESPN+ and via WatchESPN.com, as well as via Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV.

Odds

According to Oddschecker, Hamilton is a 5/4 favorite to win the season opener, followed by Max Verstappen at 5/2 and Mercedes' teammate Bottas at 5/1.

Ferrari's Leclerc, meanwhile, is a 12/1 outsider.

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas steers his car ahead of Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Thai driver Alex Albon during the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix on July 5 in Spielberg, Austria. Joe Klamar/Pool/AFP/Getty
Formula 1 TV Schedule 2020: Styrian GP Start Time, TV Channel, Live Stream | Sports