Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2019

Canada ‘postponed’, France could double up, Austria won’t change date

2020 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

The Canadian Grand Prix has become the latest round of the 2020 F1 season to cancel its original race date.

The race promoters said on Tuesday they hope to find a new slot for their round of the world championship. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was originally due to hold the ninth race of the season on June 14th.

The president and CEO of the Canadian Grand Prix, Francois Dumontier, said “at the moment it is crucial that all of our energies be put together to overcome Covid-19. We will welcome you with open arms at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said the championship supports the decision. “We always look forward to travelling to the incredible city of Montreal and while we will all have to wait a bit longer, we will put on a great show when we arrive later this year,” he said. Canada joins six other events seeking later dates for their races, Australia and Monaco having cancelled their rounds.

The latest change to the calendar as a result of the global pandemic means the French Grand Prix on June 28th will become the season-opening race. The possibility this race may be held ‘behind closed doors’ without fans could open up the opportunity for Paul Ricard to hold a second round of the world championship in August.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
Will F1 have to ban fans from races to get its 2020 season started?
The race is normally held earlier in the year to ensure more comfortable temperatures for spectators. This would not be a consideration for a race held behind closed doors. Paul Ricard also has 160 different circuit configurations, many of which F1 could use, allowing it to run different courses for multiple races.

If the F1 season does begin at Paul Ricard on June 28th it will equal the third-longest gap between consecutive races in F1’s history, at 210 days.

The teams are due to head straight from France to Austria for what will now be the second round of the world championship at the Red Bull Ring on July 5th. RaceFans understands Red Bull is adamant Austria’s round of the 2020 world championship will go ahead on that date or not at all.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Video: Will F1 resort to holding races ‘behind closed doors’?

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

How the 2020 F1 calendar has changed

1Australian Grand PrixMar 13-15Cancelled, will not be rescheduled
2Bahrain Grand PrixMar 20-22Cancelled, seeking replacement date
3Vietnam Grand PrixApr 3-5Cancelled, seeking replacement date
4Chinese Grand PrixApr 17-19Cancelled, seeking replacement date
5Dutch Grand PrixMay 1-3Cancelled, seeking replacement date
6Spanish Grand PrixMay 8-10Cancelled, seeking replacement date
7Monaco Grand PrixMay 21-24Cancelled, will not be rescheduled
8Azerbaijan Grand PrixJun 5-7Cancelled, seeking replacement date
9Canadian Grand PrixJun 12-14Cancelled, seeking replacement date
10French Grand PrixJun 26-28
11Austrian Grand PrixJul 3-5
12British Grand PrixJul 17-19
13Hungarian Grand PrixJul 31-Aug 2
14Belgian Grand PrixAug 28-30
15Italian Grand PrixSep 4-6
16Singapore Grand PrixSep 18-20
17Russian Grand PrixSep 25-27
18Japanese Grand PrixOct 9-11
19United States Grand PrixOct 23-25
20Mexican Grand PrixOct 30-Nov 1
21Brazilian Grand PrixNov 13-15
22Abu Dhabi Grand PrixNov 27-29

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2020 F1 season articlesTags , ,

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 33 comments on “Canada ‘postponed’, France could double up, Austria won’t change date”

    1. If there are no fans at Paul Ricard, they can finally ditch the Mistral chicane! No need to worry about the revenue from that grandstand (which was the main reason the promoters didn’t want to get rid of it, per Keith’s story in February).

      1. @markzastrow – I saw “France could double up” and groaned, but you’re all about the silver lining, aren’t you? :)

        1. @phylyp Well, if there were ever a time for silver linings… :)

          To be honest, I’d be quite intrigued if they tried to make the two races as different as possible. You could, for instance, run the Mistral straight without the chicane and without DRS zones one day, and then run the chicane with DRS zones before and after the next day. Would be interesting to see which creates the better racing.

          You could even potentially make the layouts different enough that you might shake up the order, playing to different teams’ strengths.

          This is going to be a season unlike any other (if it happens at all), so they may as well experiment.

          1. @markzastrow – that makes a lot of sense, and has now piqued my interest – I’d like to see if there’s an alternate layout that ends up offering better racing. If that layout ends up working out much better, it might even convince the promoters to make that the default layout for F1 in the future.

          2. @markzastrow Chicaneless Mistral straight would actually have to be run without DRS due to the nature of the following corner Signes.

    2. If F1 arrives in Montreal later this year rather than when, but most likely that’s it for the Canadian GP as far as this year’s concerned given that mid-September is the rough deadline to achieve ideal temps for F1 and there isn’t any room for it in that month nor in July, so August would be the only viable option, but only if neither NL, Spain, Azerbaijan would get placed there, nor a potential 2nd French GP. BTW, August isn’t any different to the 2nd half of June temperature-wise, so not really a point of consideration, but should another French GP happen, I hope it’d be without the Mistral straight-chicane with the rest of the track remaining unchanged from the last two seasons.

      1. The first four races held at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve were in late September and early October:
        – 1978, October 8th (won by Gilles)
        – 1979, September 30th
        – 1980, September 28th
        – 1981, September 27th

        In spite it being a temporary circuit, it is not a disruption to city life like Monaco or Singapore — Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is pretty much the greatest bicycle and roller-blade track in the world. :)

        1. @x1znet And when they did hold it later it was always an utterly miserable experience due to been horribly cold and/or horribly wet.

          Was one of the reason it got moved to June/July from 1982.

          1. @roger-ayles Indeed.
            @x1znet Hence, my point stands valid as far as the ideal deadline is concerned.

            1. @roger-ayles In addition, not ‘one of the’ reasons, but the only reason the Canadian GP eventually got moved to June, the month in which it has stayed ever since.

    3. All drivers should agree not to shave until the start of the first race. Best beard get the pole position.

    4. Cristiano Ferreira
      7th April 2020, 21:38

      Please no one deserves two races at Paul Ricard. I hope France gets cancelled.

      1. Two races at Spa would sound far more exciting.

    5. This is just wishful thinking and share value managment. The season is done.

    6. Maybe Germany can annex Austria’s date?

      1. Ha had a bit of a double take when I first read your post.

      2. They tried that way back and it didn’t turn out well.

        1. Love it. Lol.

      3. Germany annexing anything from Austria would spice things up, wouldn’t it?

    7. An F1 car has a minimum weight: 746 kg. So all the teams have to make sure their car weighs at least that amount. Since the Corona virus isn’t going to go away any time soon, I’m wondering if F1 needs a minimum Covid-19 standard that could be used to put a Grand Prix on notice that it will be cancelled or at least postponed unless things improve. For example, instead of wondering whether to race in a country which could reap a lot of money but where the hospitals are overflowing, such a standard would tell F1 that the race should be cancelled. As implied, such a standard could also be used to indicate when cancelled Grands prix could be re-admitted to the calendar.
      So where do we get a “standard” from? If we take the cancelled Australian GP as the “gold standard”, on the 12th March, the day before the race was cancelled, the number of new reported cases of people infected in Australia (i.e. the daily increase in infections) with Covid-19 was 28, so an increase of 1.111 per million per day (28 new infections / 25.2 (million)). Really, the cut off point should be less than that, say 0.1111, so a safety factor of 10. For Australia that equates to 2.8, so increases of 3 or more per day are an indicator of potential cancellation, and if daily increases persisted for a reasonable period of time, e.g. a week, and especially if it had been above the threshold for longer, e.g. a month, then F1 should really cancel the event or at least postpone it until the rate of reported daily infections fell to 2 or less. From the 1st of March until now there seems to have been daily increases of 3 or more. To be fair, telling fans and teams the event was cancelled on the 8th March, just 4 days before it was due to start, would have been a brave decision, but now a lot of the remaining GPs have far more lead time.

      1. @drycrust Technically there already is such a standard, in that legally the FIA, Liberty and the organiser cannot do anything that would put their staff at undue risk, and that any one of them is empowered (and legally obliged) to withdraw their staff if it would be a health and safety risk to send them in.

        However, Australia shows that the powers-that-be aren’t 100% ready to take that step on the scene, let alone in advance. They’re only willing to wait until forced.

    8. Bring in Brands Hatch at some point.

      1. Not sure it’s up to code for modern f1. The run off in some corners seems way too small, for one thing. Donnington might be a possibility, though obviously the circuit is less exciting. In my fantasy world, F1 would also visit Oulton Park and Thruxton – it would be unreal!

        1. It seems far more sensible to be racing in the UK than travelling “sardine like” to far flung places, mixing with local people, then travelling sardine like back to the UK or wherever.

    9. roberto giacometti
      8th April 2020, 6:25

      The whole 23 season races could all be done at Paul Ricard. If it has 160 or so different permutations – easy .
      Just pick a month – one Grand Prix per day for 23 days straight, or maybe even space them apart 2 days and spread it over a 2 month period. Championship done.
      Brilliant idea !!

      1. @roberto giacometti There is a good chance that the UK (where most of the teams are based) will be the factor holding up the season start. Therefore, no particular venue would have an advantage over another. Also, 3 different continents have to be involved for World Championship status, so sadly the plan will only work if some highly advanced work in geotechnics is completed in the next few month.

    10. I dont see any race happening till September guys… no vaxine or anything is out yet and even if they think to do the races without fans they must count the team members that they will risk their lives in there.

      The world needs time at this moment to heal up the wounds of the virus but its too early yet to plan things.

    11. I have tickets to attend this race, my 1st GP. The weather won’t allow for a race there beyond say September or so. The postponed term is being used for legal reasons. It won’t be rescheduled. Season is fubar

      1. @sterling Indeed. The usage of the word ‘postponement’ has become redundant. Do they actually think they could realistically reschedule every single one them, and especially those that require more lead-time such as Hanoi and Baku, and or those that are far away from the team-factories in Europe such as this one. Also when taking into account the fact mid-September is more or less the deadline for the Canadian GP to achieve ideal temps for F1 meaning that August is the only viable option, and even that option would remain open only as long as none other affected one would get placed there or at max only one of them. Indeed. The usage of the word ‘postponement’ has become redundant. Do they actually think they could realistically reschedule every single one them, and especially those that require more lead-time such as Hanoi and Baku, and or those that are far away from the team-factories in Europe such as this one. Also when taking into account the fact mid-September is more or less the deadline for the Canadian GP to achieve ideal temps for F1 meaning that August is the only viable option, and even that option would remain open only as long as none other affected one would get placed there or at max only one of them. The Canadian GP is definitely more likely a lost-case for this year along with the Azerbaijan, Vietnamese, and Chinese GP.

        1. @jerejj They’re required to try – as @sterling correctly notes, that is a legal obligation. Of course some of them will fail, but unless the promoter can tell them their specific one will fail to be rescheduled, or the calendar runs out of viable slots (either forces cancellation), postponement is the only option.

        2. I don’t know how my post got doubled, but oh well.

    12. Why are they cancelling races more than two months in advance? Does it take two months to prepare a GP? Or do they know already that the situation will be the same in two months?

    Comments are closed.