Start, Red Bull Ring, 2019

F1 confirms first details of new 2020 calendar including start in Austria

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 has confirmed the first details of its rescheduled 2020 calendar, which will begin with the Austrian Grand Prix in July.

The first races of the season will be held “without fans”, Carey confirmed, but the sport is hopeful later races will not have to be held behind closed doors.

“We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September,” said Carey, “with the first race taking place in Austria on 3rd-5th July weekend.”

Carey previously indicated there will be extensive changes to the original 2020 schedule in order to accommodate other racers which have been postponed.

Today the French Grand Prix became the 10th round of the championship to call off its original scheduled date. It has been cancelled, along with the races in Australia and Monaco, while seven other race promoters are seeking to reschedule their events.

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Bahrain, which was originally due to hold the second round of the world championship on March 22nd, is among the races which will feature in the new schedule, said Carey. He also confirmed Yas Marina will remain as the season finale:

Start, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Carey confirmed Bahrain’s race will go ahead
“September, October and November would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races. We will publish our finalised calendar as soon as we possibly can.”

However Carey acknowledged their plans could be disrupted by further developments in the global pandemic.

“All of our plans are obviously subject to change as we still have many issues to address and all of us are subject to the unknowns of the virus,” he said.

“We all want the world to return to the one we know and cherish, yet we recognise it must be done in the right and safest way. We look forward to doing our part by enabling our fans to once again safely share the excitement of Formula 1 with family, friends, and the broader community.”

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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...
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30 comments on “F1 confirms first details of new 2020 calendar including start in Austria”

  1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
    27th April 2020, 9:30

    15 races would be a miracle (in a good way)

    1. Carey’s full of crazy happy talk. First week of July is 9 weeks away. That’s much too soon to responsibly relax social distancing, travel and other restrictions, that would put F1’s teams, FIA personnel, marshals, medical, media, etc., and the host country’s public, in danger.

  2. I’ve just been reading the article on Silverstone but this article does not mention it??

    1. BBC says it has 2 back to back weekends

  3. I really don’t feel like this is a good idea. Time will tell.

  4. proud_asturian
    27th April 2020, 10:00

    Looks like F1’s back on the menu boys

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      27th April 2020, 11:59

      Never sat well with me that line. Like how did orcs know what a menu was?

      1. And where did they learn English?

  5. I have no idea how a race team can maintain social distancing and still function at a Grand Prix. Especially when they are commuting to a different country to do their job.

    1. Yes, that’s an interesting point. I guess part of the answer is in what Carey meant when he said “All of our plans are obviously subject to change as we still have many issues to address… “. However, I would have thought most of the obvious social distancing, PPE, and “covid-19-events” problems would have been largely thought out by now. For example, how do you change a tyre with just one person at each wheel? Or, what if someone gets sick with the “flu”? How do you maintain 2 metre spacing in the Pitwall Control room? I guess we’ll hear from Chase soon.

      1. Or might it be that everyone in attendance at the race, presumably initially without audience, ie. the thousand or so that comprise the teams and the support workers to field the race, would have all had to test negative for the virus to begin with.

  6. Nice to see plans being made and it is a good feeling of course, but this is of course based upon the relevant governments involved allowing the movement of teams across borders. Not trying to be a downer, just a realist – love this sport and miss it a lot!

  7. Jose Lopes da Silva
    27th April 2020, 10:29

    Being outside of Britain, I don’t know if there’s political mood to haves races in Silverstone. I hope there is.

    But if you need to have 2 races in Bahrain and one in Losail and the ending in Abu Dhabi, proceed.

  8. Start of season at RBR’s house, without in season developments but the ones you can do indoors. Fewer races so every point counts.

    At a time we can all watch live (sorry blokes down under).

    Are we talking broadcast audience records here?

    1. The European races are not too bad down under mate. On the east coast here the euro races start at 11pm. Used to be 10pm. The Canada, Brazil, USA races can get a bit tough. They start something like 4-6am. I’ve been viewing at this time forever and it feels kinda wrong when the circus comes to Aus and we watch it in daylight hours. Japan too is in the afternoon, probably one or two others. I quite like the solitude of a late night race ;)

  9. Two races at Red Bull Ring and at Silverstone sound okay to me. Everyone gets a test before access. I dont know much about the Austrian GP circuit but most of the teams are located close to Silverstone and the others could fly into the circuit. With races held back to back weekends that would be four races completed without too much risk. Channel 4 would get two GP’s full live coverage?? I read somewhere that for the full TV coverage royalties to be paid out to Sky etc. There must be a minimum of 15 grand prix held. So that’s where the numbers are coming from.

    1. I think 15 would be a good number to have. I think trying to squeeze in 18 in six/seven months might mean fans don’t have time to watch or follow them all. It might deter from the spectacle in some ways and people might lose track. Stick to a lesser number is my advice to them.

  10. Am so pleased to see the first glimmer of hope that we’ll actually get some races this year. Covid19 is bad enough but to add no F1 to the list is just so disappointing. I certainly hope that with all the will in the world this goes ahead. A small light in a very dark place.

  11. I hope the television broadcasters (Sky etc.) consider not sending their crews out to the circuits. If we are to have to observe some social distancing, then I think this is one easy way to observe social distancing. They could present from a studio in the UK, and still interview drivers – as we now know, that is definitely possible. Yes, there would be less build up features, but how they would be produced if aspects of social distancing is required is questionable anyway. Personally, I think this would be a safer solution to television coverage and would limit the overall amount of necessary travel to these races, should they happen.

  12. The Canadian GP despite not being officially cancelled is more or less guaranteed of not going ahead this year since sporting events/mass gatherings are banned in the province of Quebec until the end of August and mid-September is roughly the deadline for getting ideal temps before it starts to get cooler and cooler. The Dutch GP will also have the same difficulties in getting rescheduled for the same reason. I’m also a bit surprised the Belgian GP is still on its scheduled date even though the same ban lasts until the end of August in Belgium as well.

  13. I saw some reports yesterday stating that starting next month the UK government is likely going to put measures in place meaning that everyone who enters the UK from overseas will be placed into mandatory 14 day quarantine upon re-entry & that this policy will likely remain in place for ‘quite some time’.

    If that does end up happening I wonder how F1 would work around it, Especially if more countries start introducing similar measures as I believe some already have.

    1. @stefmeister Wow…just starting next month? I hope by that you at least mean this is just days away, as it is almost May (next month lol). Here in Canada we put that measure in place about a month ago. People flying home were (and still are) to go straight home and self-isolate for 14 days. What they also had found was those we call ‘snowbirds’ or Canadian residents that like to winter in Florida and other southern States, were coming back across the border into Canada and immediately going to Walmart etc to stock up before they go to their houses. Even that was clamped down on as they were outed for their risky behaviour. So even motor home travellers had to be reminded that it was now a chargeable offence to come into Canada and not go straight home to isolate. No food in the fridge because you’ve been away all winter? Too bad. Order it for delivery and don’t leave your house for 14 days. As I say this has been in place for at least a month so it is quite disturbing that the UK would still not be doing this and is only just about to start.

      1. @robbie It’s not even confirmed it’s something the government will do, More something that it is believed they will likely do.

        1. @stefmeister Wow, that to me is really surprising. Thought it was a no-brainer weeks ago.

    2. That has been pretty much in place all over the world at the moment with only a few exceptions. Either that or their borders are closed completely.

      Yes, I’m aware that there are exceptions in some countries for “essential” travel but I’d be certain that F1 won’t be regarded as essential travel.

      As much as F1 might want to confirm a calendar, they will still be subject to the regulations of every country they want to schedule races in, so to me there’s quite a big difference between saying that they have a confirmed calendar and the reality of actually racing.

  14. John Richards (@legardforpresident)
    27th April 2020, 16:05

    I don’t know whether to be happy or angry. It just seems too good to be true? What about social distancing, the logistics, the lodging of the teams? A vaccine isn’t expected until mid-2021 at the very earliest, so anything before that is like playing with fire.

    1. You know, racing in general has danger for drivers, pit crews, fans. Life can be dangerous, freedom to choose.

  15. I think this is high optimism, probably to boost shareholders morale, but still quite a long way from realism.
    F1 no matter how fanatical you are can still only be classed as entertainment. Governments are trying to get the economy back on track with the least risk to human life. Hosting a GP with no crowd /tourist revenue is going to add little to the coffers and potentially increasing risk of further infections. We will have to wait and see how this evolves.

  16. I’m going to have to buy 3 new TV’s … because with 10 months racing condensed into 5 months there’s going to be plenty weekends with double, triple and quadruple stacked events across F1, MotoGP, WEC, GT Racing, and the odd rugby test thrown in for fun.
    Across the time zones, there’s going to be a few all nighters too …

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