F1 discusses behind-closed-doors Austrian GP in July - report

Could Austria start the F1 season behind closed doors? (2:00)

Nate Saunders explains Formula 1's discussions to start the 2020 season in Austria, behind closed doors. (2:00)

Formula One has discussed the possibility of starting the 2020 season with a spectator-free Austrian Grand Prix in July, according to the BBC.

The first nine races of the F1 season have either been postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the French Grand Prix -- slated to be held on July 28 -- also looks set to be called off. That would leave Austria's July 5 race as the next one on the original 2020 schedule that is yet to be altered.

This week, Austria loosened lockdown restrictions by allowing thousands of shops to open, although people are still being encouraged to work from home where possible. The Austrian GP takes place at the Red Bull Ring outside the remote town of Spielberg, which has 5,000 residents.

F1 has discussed starting the season there without spectators before hosting two races in one weekend at Silverstone's British Grand Prix the following weekend. Silverstone has already discussed that possibility with F1 chiefs.

However, Britain is yet to reach the peak in its coronavirus curve and the lockdown has been extended by three weeks into mid-May.

The state of F1's 2020 season still remains unclear. The series has effectively torn up the calendar it was set to follow for the season and still hopes to hold up to 18 races in a championship that could run into January of next year.

Securing races looks likely to be complicated. Belgian Grand Prix organisers have already warned their race is in doubt after the country extended a ban on mass gatherings to August, when the event was scheduled to take place.