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When will the next Formula 1 race take place?

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Today should have been the third round of the 2020 F1 season and the sport’s first ever race in Vietnam.

Instead the championship is in limbo, with none of the first eight races able to take place in their allotted slots, and the prospect of further postponements and cancellations before we see F1 cars in action again.

As things stand what was originally due to be the ninth round of the championship, the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14th, is the first race scheduled to take place this year.

But the world is waiting and watching to see how long it will take to bring the pandemic under control, including in Europe, where the next seven races after the Canadian round are due to take place.

While the resumption of racing is theoretically just two-and-a-half months away, we could be about to see a repeat of the cancellations and postponements we saw a few weeks ago.

F1 is currently set for one of the longest gaps between consecutive races since the championship began. How much more disruption can we expect, and when might the first race finally happen?

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April 2020 Vietnam and China were supposed to hold April’s two races. The latter was called off in February as China was the first country to suffer from the pandemic, and F1 is known to be keen to reschedule it later in the year.
May 2020 The Netherlands and Spain hope to reschedule their races, but there will be no Monaco Grand Prix for the first time in 65 years.
June 2020 Azerbaijan is also looking for another slot, but Canada remains on June 14th for now, and France two weeks later. F1 has said it intends to begin its season in the summer.
July 2020 Austria’s round is due to take place on the 5th, then Britain two weeks after – the latter has been on every calendar since 1950.
August 2020 F1’s summer break was due to happen between Hungary and Belgium, but that has been moved forwards, and if racing has resumed by this point extra rounds could be added here.
September 2020 Among European countries Italy, whose race is on the 6th, is in a particularly dire situation. After the ‘European season’ ends, F1 is due to visit Singapore and Russia.
October 2020 Two races were scheduled for October initially – Japan and USA – potentially leaving room to add another race.
November 2020 Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi should have concluded the season, but F1 could continue the championship into next year.
December 2020 F1 raced in December last year but if the season is only beginning at this point then fitting in the minimum number of races necessary will be a challenge.
January 2021 If F1 is unable to hold any races in 2020, they may be forced to abandon the season and wait until the new championship begins in 2021.
February 2021 The possibility of running the 2020 season until February has been mooted, which would involving scrapping pre-season testing, which is no longer needed due to the car development freeze.
March 2021 The 2021 season is expected to begin in March next year.

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You say

When do you think the next F1 race will be held? Will we see any racing this year? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments:

When will the next Formula 1 race be held?

  • After March 2021 (5%)
  • March 2021 (22%)
  • February 2021 (1%)
  • January 2021 (2%)
  • December 2020 (1%)
  • November 2020 (2%)
  • October 2020 (4%)
  • September 2020 (16%)
  • August 2020 (23%)
  • July 2020 (13%)
  • June 2020 (11%)
  • May 2020 (0%)
  • April 2020 (0%)

Total Voters: 181

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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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  • 42 comments on “When will the next Formula 1 race take place?”

    1. Voted October, just to put a pin in the calendar.

      I expect it to be a closed-doors race, all teams participating. Like Dieter’s article from a few days ago, I expect teams to pare down their headcount for non-race operations (e.g. minimal/no marketing presence, minimal press handlers).

      I forsee Liberty will work out a one-time revenue sharing agreement with the promoters of closed-doors race to compensate for the absence of gate sales, food truck licenses, etc.

    2. I voted for June because I’m still hopeful for either the Canadian or the French GP to happen as scheduled. Regarding the original summer-break phase: There’d be room for two at max, in which case they’d have to be on August 9 and 23 respectively, to avoid having races on more than three consecutive weekends, which is realistically the max in that regard.
      BTW, The Japanese and US GPs are still in October, though, so no room for any other at this point. There’d only be room for China, Vietnam, or perhaps even Azerbaijan if either the races scheduled before Japan would be brought forward or the US and Mexican GPs pushed back by, for example, seven days each.

      1. Canada won’t happen at the dates it’s listed. Could still happen later this year. Organizers won’t have time to finish the logistics of the track (grandstands, bridges, hospitality, etc.) and don’t think Canada is ready to allow the F1 circus in the country for the obvious reasons.

        1. @stuckin5thgear For the Canadian GP, it’s most likely either the original slot or not at all this year as mid-September is roughly the deadline for it to achieve ideal temps for F1, hence, August is the only month where there’d be room for it, and that’d predominantly depend on what happens with the Dutch and Spanish GPs (and to a lesser extent Azerbaijan).

          1. Having seen the track logistics myself about a week ago, I can tell you Canada won’t happen at it’s planned date. That I’m 100% certain.

    3. It does not look like it could be in any way reasonable or responsible to drive this year. However, as far as I know all races so far have been cancelled or postponed by the respective local promoters or the local authorities, which leaves possibilities for races like Brazil, a rescheduled Chinese GP, or maybe a race in Russia.

    4. ColdFly (@)
      5th April 2020, 9:42

      Can we also have a vote on tonight’s lotto numbers?

    5. I voted March ’21. We are still seeing numbers that are alarming and I fear we are just at the beginning. It has spread all over the world and it will continue to do so if there is no cure to that. I don’t want to paint devils on the wall and I want to see a race as soon as it is safe to do so (maybe July?). Problem is there how much countries want to let other people in from other countries.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        5th April 2020, 10:26

        I don’t want to paint devils on the wall

        Never heard that one, but it is clear immediately what you mean, @qeki.
        Maybe we can all share our local proverbs. Talk doesn’t plough the field and it won’t solve the current crisis. But at least we can have some fun.

        1. ‘Painting the devil on the wall’ is used in Swedish. @qeki, where are you from?

          1. It’s also a good known German term.

            1. And Danish for that matter. Didn’t know it was used in other languages.

          2. @chrischrill It is also a common sentence next to Sweden. Finland :D

            1. …and also Switzerland . My wife say it all the time

    6. I think August, behind closed doors – probably Spa.
      I guess that in the summer there will be a relaxing of rules, with return to work where social distancing can be guaranteed, or employers have almost daily testing of staff, isolating any positive tests. Under those conditions I could see F1 holding races assuming they can put together sufficient testing (new tests by then and F1 is big enough to have on site processing).
      It will mean FOM giving up the hosting fees – maybe even paying circuits to cover their costs, but sooner or later FOM is going to lose its TV fees if it doesn’t put on something, so this would start to recoup costs. TV is going to be crying out for new material by then.
      I’ll put the crystal ball back on the shelf now, it has been pretty useless anyway, like I expect this guess to be!

    7. I must admit, when I first heard that the Australian GP had been cancelled I thought that the entire season was in jeopardy.

      If you take Australia as an example: at the time of the Australian GP the number of cases in Australia had only just started to pick up, with around 300 cases. Since then, despite fairly aggressive rules preventing people from living “normal” lives the number of cases has risen to 5500. Australia has slowed down the spread of the virus, but we’re nowhere near being on top of the pandemic. You’d argue that, even if a country does get on top of it, you need weeks and months to go by to be really sure, and only then are you in a position to host a race.

      In this situation, race promoters, Liberty, fans, and other stakeholders aren’t going to take any chances. Aside from how they appear to the outside world, those stakeholders won’t want to put their money where their mouth is. This trend has to play out in all countries where F1 is intending to go.

      When will the next F1 race be held? Maybe the question we should be asking is: why shouldn’t the 2020 season be completely abandoned? You’d argue that at a certain stage later in the year, there’s no point trying to cram a reduced number of races into a limited period of time.

      Let’s hope each nation beats this pandemic, and that we’re in a position to have a full championship in 2021.

      1. My thoughts too. It seems inconceivable that sport will resume within two or three months of getting Coronavirus under control, and that point is at least months away. We’re very unlikely to see F1 resume this year, and may well see next year cancelled too.

    8. I went for August 2020 which it seems is quite a popular answer. I think there might be a relaxing of the restrictions by then to allow some form of racing to happen. I think there will be a kind of desire to take advantage of what would have been the usual summer break.

      Cannot really see anything happening before this and if anything I think August is on the earlier side of options.

      1. Indeed, agree, august is the earliest it can realistically be possible, else we’re looking at march 2021 I think.

    9. There won’t be any mass events until there’s a vaccine or a country that has achieved herd immunity (Italy the most likely candidate for this). But since the survival of F1 is on the line, I think we’ll see closed door races in places like Bahrain or Abu Dhabi before the year is out, so I voted November.

      1. So far there are no proves of developed immunity by recovered people. So Italy is not a candidate. And vaccine will take at least a year to test.
        Likely no season this year.

        1. @regs Italy is in the process of testing for immunity, and how to detect immunity. Initial signs are optimistic though, as you say, proof has not yet been established in either direction. (Note that re-infection does sometimes happen, because there are two variants out there, although it’s not clear if those who get re-infected can pass it on further – which is the part nations currently worry about when deciding whether restrictions can be lifted).

          However, results from the tests are likely to be circulated widely and quickly because of the acute nature of nations’ current response. Therefore, to the extent that results come from that direction, they are likely to be applied everywhere equally. Therefore, Italy is a candidate but only to the same extent as other nations at a similar point of their curve.

          1. What?! Are they actually trying to reinfect recovered people in mass?

            1. @regs no, they are not trying to reinfect people who have recovered. What a number of nations are working on at the moment is a reliable antibody test, which is intended to confirm whether an individual has already contracted covid-19 and whether their immune system is capable of producing antibodies to help protect them against reinfection.

              However, those types of test are still in early development – in part because of the demand for profiling testing to confirm if an individual is currently suffering from the disease taking up much of the available medical lab testing capacity at the moment.

    10. Richard Howell
      5th April 2020, 14:09

      Montréal jazz fest scheduled for late June was cancelled Friday.

      Not looking good for the F1 race.

    11. I don’t see any races until sometime next year. It looks to me like the risk of some people getting infected is too high.

    12. Honestly just call of the whole year at this point

    13. I’m sorry to say but I think we will not see F1 for a long time and there is even a small chance it won’t return ever. Hear me out.

      1. For the short term, I don’t see a reasonable scenario for F1 to return. Even if measures will be relaxed later this year, it will be slow and incremental and sports events will be last on the list I reckon.

      2. For the midterm, I feel the risk of the virus returning after relaxing measures, and therefore having to re-instate (parts of) them, is too big to allow international travel to return in full effect (especially for non-essential things like tourism or international sports events).

      3. Long-term, for something as risky as organizing worldwide events for leisure/pleasure, I think a vaccine is necessary first. This might mean no F1, Olympics or international football tournaments like the Champions League or European Championships in 2021 either.

      In the meantime, entire economies are flatlining currently and that means countries will have to deal with the aftermath and large international socio-economical aid packages will be needed for third world countries as well. Not many state-sponsored GP’s will continue to be state-sponsored I think. Besides that, a lot of companies, small and big, will go bust as in the aftermath. Individual race teams in all of motorsports, including F1 teams, supply chain partners, related media outlets and possibly even Liberty Media itself, might not survive.

      If that happens, and considering we are already in times of climate-awareness and manufacturers moving towards electric energy, who is to say F1 as a whole will survive?

      1. @jeffreyj I’m not that pessimistic. F1 and racing, in general, will definitely return at some point. I’m also still positive that there’s going to be some racing this year, at least, the minimum of eight races required for a season to qualify for the world championship, but next year at the very latest.

        1. @jerejj Not saying it definitely will go that way, but there is a chance it might and it isn’t that far fetched either.

          But, do you agree that things won’t go from lockdown to fully back to normal in one step and that it will be incremental? And if so, how do you see sports events being one of the first things to come back, especially large scale events that require international travel? And do you agree that state-sponsored GP’s are likely to lose that money or that sponsors and manufactures will have a hard time justifying putting big money towards F1 whilst simultaneously having to lay off thousands because they aren’t selling anything? Especially since F1 tech isn’t doing much for where they are going in the real world anyway. This crisis might accelerate an exodus.

          1. @jeffreyj Yes, I do agree that things won’t or are unlikely to go from lockdown to fully back to normal in one step or straightaway like that. That’d be unnecessarily rushing and potentially risky, so definitely carefulness has to be applied when starting to go back towards full normality one step at a time rather than in a hurrying manner.

    14. This year? Haha
      A race start in 2021 is touch and go, depending on how we deal with this plague.
      Let’s play safe and say March 2022, with luck!

      1. @Islander Don’t worry, there’s definitely going to be racing next year at the very latest if not this year.

    15. September, in Russia with Putin onsite for some overtly irresponsible political show of him “saving the world” or something daft.

      1. @eurobrun – “From Russia With Love” :)

    16. This is a pointless article. nobody knows the answer because nobody knows what is going to happen with the virus.

      1. But we do know that the measures taken won’t be gone in one step. Until a vaccine is available world-wide measures will have to be relaxed incrementally with the risk of the pandemic flaring back up again. That is a process of months and a vaccine might be over a year away. It just seems wise to not have international travel and 100k people coming together for a GP, just to have some fun.

    17. Which government will open its airspace and allow in foreigners? Even if the race is behind closed doors it’s still a big deal – lot of people. Absolutely no chance this side of the summer break, and probably not until there is a vaccine.

    18. I voted November, perhaps some closed door race in Au Dhabi and/or Bahrain.

    19. I don’t often post here any more, but that’s not because I have found somewhere better. It’s just that I can’t see much of a future for ‘conventional’ F1 racing at all.
      At the intended beginning of this season there were indications that a couple of teams would find the year financially hard going. I don’t know how sponsorship contracts are worded, but I could easily imagine that they would be something like “we agree to pay the team $XX million if you race at 12 or 15 or 18 of the grand prix this season.” And if the team default (i.e. don’t race) payment could be decreased or avoided. So a truncated season could be fatal to some team’s sponsorship deals, while their costs are relatively inelastic.
      So let’s pretend that finally the 2020 season gets underway at Monza in September, but that in the meantime two teams have had to fold and another one is on the ropes. So that might be a grid of 14 or 16 at best. Next, a certain drink manufacturer is having a very bad time. No summer sales as there are no people on the beach, no bar or restaurant sales and precious little high street either, they bow out.
      We could be down to ten cars.
      At which point a large manufacturer who finds themselves under commercial and political pressure could say “XXXX it, it’s not worth the money we are paying” and a team and an engine manufacturer disappear.
      There’s not much left, is there?
      The glory years of teams vying for pre-qualifying and inspirational technical innovation have long gone. The market that F1 was trying to serve (race on Sunday, sell on Monday) is collapsing and the world is moving on. After Coronavirus we will see considerably fewer airlines, holiday tour companies, high street stores as well as F1 racing teams in operation.
      Sorry to be pessimistic.

    20. This is a proper guess, but I reckon the British Grand Prix will be the first to go forward – though it will be touch-and-go because of the need to commit by the end of April. (New cases have started slowing in the UK, the death rate has levelled off in Italy and Spain, Switzerland’s situation is looking more optimistic, so I think this wave, for most nations, will be under control fairly soon). It’ll be possible to hold France, but I suspect postponement will occur because international travel restrictions will only be relaxed after national-level mass gatherings are tested successfully, and notice may not arrive in time for the organisers.

      The UK has some benefits over France, in that it has most teams already in its borders, plus a large domestic audience, plus a rule that work that cannot be done from home can already be travelled to (even if that involves an international flight, in the case of Ferrari/AlphaTauri/Alfa Romeo/Pirelli/the FIA). Therefore, as long as Silverstone can hold the mass gathering (the limit is 2000, so even a closed-door event can’t happen without the gathering ban being lifted), it can race and not make too big a loss.

      I’m predicting Silverstone will have an audience, excluding anyone coming from a country which is still in the middle of the COVID-19 response (so people from most European nations, I predict, will be able to attend, but those from the USA may not). There is likely also be many empty seats from people who can’t afford it and withdraw from e.g. hotels just before the refund window closes, or else get caught out by travel advice changing after they cancel their trips (who nonetheless do not get refunds since the event happened and technically attendance was possible). I can even imagine a scheme whereby NHS workers are granted free tickets (to refill those seats) in thanks for their efforts.

      Hungary may or may not happen. If it doesn’t happen, COVID-19 won’t be the reason – the recent changes regarding executive power (or, more precisely, some consequence of that which inadvertently prevents the F1 race from running) will. If it is cancelled, another European race will be put in its slot if at all possible, because F1 will not want to lose viable races.

      The rest of the European season will happen (probably including an extra race or two in the August break)… …but I worry that at some point, a second wave will prevent part of the flyaway calendar happening, either because a nation does not wish to take the risk of a mass event arriving, or because the F1 paddock obtains a case as one of the early victims of wave 2. The US Grand Prix is likely to not run, or run behind closed doors, because the waves may merge there. In turn, Mexico could be hit due to its very active border with the USA, even if the rest of the world’s second wave ends up not affecting F1 (I think national responses will be better on the second attempt).

      F1 will, I think, scrape a season together. But the second wave will make reaching the necessary 8 events tough if they’re all going to be run as single events.

    21. Never.
      If we’re lucky, Europe will be able to start coming out of lockdown around late autumn. Most likely we’re all in this for at least a year.
      In that time there’s no way that enough teams survive to go racing, and govenments will restrict major events for years to come.
      Sorry everyone, that awful race in Abu Dhabi? That was the last ever F1 race.

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