Formula 1 is set to approve an eight-race European schedule to finally kickstart the 2020 season into life. Sources have confirmed to GP24 the following line-up of races that is due to be rubber-stamped and officially revealed this week.
- July 5 – Austrian Grand Prix
- July 12 – Austrian Grand Prix II (name to be confirmed)
- July 19 – Hungarian Grand Prix
- August 2 – British Grand Prix
- August 9 – British Grand Prix II (name to be confirmed)
- August 16 – Spanish Grand Prix
- August 30 – Belgian Grand Prix
- September 6 – Italian Grand Prix
At present, Austrian GP officials are still awaiting official confirmation from their government regarding the double-header at the Red Bull Ring, which is currently operational and again hosting track days. An announcement was expected last week, and although it has yet to materialize, it is understood the green light is a formality and that bureaucracy is playing a part at present.
The Hungarian and British Grands Prix have now swapped dates, with the former brought forward by two weeks, guaranteeing the first of two triple-headers, and a run of six races across seven weekends, and the eight in 10 overall. The journey between the Red Bull Ring and Hungaroring is a relatively short one by road in European terms at 420 km, and taking just under five hours.
Pushing the back-to-back Silverstone races into August has been done to allow circuit bosses more time in the hope planned 14-day quarantine restrictions on UK arrivals – a measure due to come into force on June 8 – will have been relaxed by that stage. F1 bosses are also in continuing dialogue with the government in a bid to secure an exemption.
Hockenheim is on standby to step in as a replacement should Silverstone be unable to host its races. With the Northamptonshire track’s new dates, a decision can be taken as late as early July should the German venue be required.
A race in Spain completes the second triple-header in mid-August, with the rounds in Belgium and Italy retaining their original dates. There had been hopes for the return of the Dutch GP, but organizers have officially decided to postpone their race until 2021 as they want fans present.
At the moment, all races are due to be behind closed doors, pending ongoing advice from each country’s government and health advisors. Beyond Europe, negotiations are ongoing with venues across Asia, the Far East and the Americas due to the nature of the Covid-19 pandemic in each country.
At this stage, F1 is planning to finish the season with a Middle East double-header in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi on December 6 and 13 respectively.
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