F1 ‘expects to start season in summer’ and to hold at least 15 races

2020 F1 season

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Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey says he expects the championship to resume racing in the summer and that they will hold at least 15 races.

The first eight races have been postponed or cancelled on the 2020 F1 calendar. At present the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14th is the first race date which has not been called off due to the global crisis.

Carey admits there is “significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events”. However, he added “we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15 to 18 races.”

This would mean losing between four and seven of this year’s races. The Australian and Monaco grand prix promoters have already confirmed their races will not be rescheduled.

Carey confirmed that the season is likely to be extended in order to fit more races in, and hinted at major changes to come in the final calendar.

“As previously announced we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April, to race during the normal summer break period and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29th November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.”

Start, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019
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With many governments introducing different restrictions on travel and requiring citizens to practice ‘social distancing’ to keep apart, Carey admitted there are significant problems to be solved in order to begin holding races.

“It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation,” he said, “but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month.”

Carey added F1 will use the hiatus to “evolve the sport, experiment and try new things.”

These “may include initiatives such as expanding our Esports platform, developing more innovative content like Netflix Drive to Survive and other creative ways to drive ongoing value for the sport’s sponsor partners, broadcast partners, race promoters, teams and fans – the ecosystem of our fantastic sport.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “F1 ‘expects to start season in summer’ and to hold at least 15 races”

  1. Well, we’ll see how that calendar will form, I guess it won’t be too easy to cram all of the races they want into such a short time period.

  2. LOL! Chevy Chase Carey plays the insensitive CEO role hilariously. 15 races! ROFL!

    1. Haha! I thought that then realised its yet another shareholder statement, trying to keep the stock price from cratering. Why did it have to be Americans that bought the sport……??

  3. Two big questions I’ve been wondering:
    How many races do Liberty need in order to payout prize money?
    Will Williams survive without it?

    1. I think they need 8 races for it to officially count as a championship.
      As for the second question, I think more than one team is in trouble without any prize-money. If they don’t race they also loose sponsor income (depending on individual contracts), but they also save a lot of expenses. The largest expense will probably be factory/development staff however, and that will remain even if they race or not (provided they intend to continue next year).

    2. @glynh @Robert
      Eight is the minimum number of races needed for a season to qualify for the world championship.

  4. Max verstappen and Lando Norris are racing tonight on YouTube Channel of Team Redline.

  5. I’d say Carey is talking to the sponsors and shareholders who I would imagine are a bit skittish at the moment. I have not looked but Liberty shares must have taken a hit. His first priority is to the shareholders depending on where Liberty are incorporated it could be sued for not prioritising profits. So Liberty must at least look as if they are doing everything they can to to run events.

    1. Exactly right @johnrkh I don’t believe for a minute that Carey has his head in the sand, and to be honest I don’t believe that the shareholders or sponsors do either, but he more or less “has” to make a semi positive statement from a corporate perspective as that is or was standard procedure for large corporates.

      Unfortunately in this new world that we’re living in, I doubt that such a statement will have any impact as pretty much everyone has a view that things will remain unstable for several months.

  6. Carey must be getting his happy dust at the same store Trump gets his. No way will Europe, or elsewhere, host races for the next 7 to 8 months. It’ll take at least 4 to 5 months to bring the coronavirus under control and then there’ll be a 2 to 3 month waiting period to see whether the virus has a second wave. And that’s if things go well; if the virus is not controlled it could stretch into next year too.

    1. It does look bad indeed. But to be a bit more positive, pandemic outbreaks normally lasts about 3 months before stabilizing, not 5. It remains to be seen how much longer it gets due to all the restrictions being enforced by our governments, and whether ALL countries need to get through before travelling can resume or if it’s enough with smaller regions.

  7. I’m starting to think it’s very likely that we won’t see a formula one season at all in 2020

    1. I don’t see it either, the denial of the situation and insistence of business as usual looks like it will cost many countries a significant period of shut down, I can easily see countries closing borders for over a year.

  8. Sadly, very sadly, there will not be F1 racing in 2020. You can bet the house on that.

  9. With even the Olympics being postponed, I doubt it.

  10. Absolutely no chance. Zero.

  11. Yeah…. i also believe that Santa exists and there are aliens.
    I dont believe in the life of me that we will have a race this year till a vaxine comes out.

    1. Maybe enough of us will have survived this virus by summertime that we’ll have herd immunity.

    2. Aliens is a certain thing (maybe we never meet them due the distance) but the rest is a fairy tale.

  12. Chase Carey must be living in La-la land if he thinks F1 will return to business as usual anytime this year, and his continued failure to understand the situation has doomed F1 to a revenue free year, the consequences of which will be far greater than a drop in the share price. If they had understood and accepted the situation it could still have been possible to hold a series of races under tight quarantine for minimum size teams at a track like Silverstone (with goodwill and a sharing attitude) to salvage the TV revenue. The races could be shortened slightly and run run on hard tyres without pit-stops to reduce pit-lane crowding along with other minor adjustments and precautions, but it’s probably too late to start organising now.

  13. It took threw months in China, where they are way more prepared than the rest of the world. Unfortunately, predictions are that it will take more than three months in the rest of the world, especially because the virus is accelerating now in other parts of the globe.

  14. Has he looked out the ivory tower and seen what is happening?
    The man’s a fool.

  15. I’m certain Carey hasn’t looked beyond the end of his nose this past month. Has he grasped that F1 is world wide and vast distances are involved in moving from one track to another. Does he believe the 100 odd trucks needed to run a race will be available in every country? Will the airlines be working to full capacity when F1 needs it? It’s okay for him to travel around in his private jet, he needs to use a low cost airline and drive a car across Europe to get a clue as to how the ‘other half’ in F1 get around.

    If he and Brawn push for 2 day race weekends, he’ll run the teams ragged. Pit crews require decent gaps between races to recharge, more so when they’re moving across different time zones.

    I don’t know about keeping share holders happy, those debts CVC created will still require servicing. How much needs paying back every day on $4b?

  16. That could be difficult to achieve, though, but I’m positive there’s going to be some racing this year. At least the eight needed for a season to qualify for the world championship.

  17. My, my, he’s lost a lot of weight! He will practically be skin and bones by the time 2022 rolls around.

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