Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hockenheimring, 2019

Tracks not on original 2020 calendar could hold F1 races this year – Carey

2020 F1 season

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Racing circuits which were not on the original 2020 F1 calendar could hold races this year, the sport’s chairman and CEO Chase Carey has confirmed.

But in a conference call discussing F1’s first quarter earnings he also admitted there was still a “remote possibility” the championship may be unable to hold any races this year due to the pandemic.

F1 cancelled the opening round of its championship in Australia in March. The following nine events have all been cancelled or ‘postponed’ to as-year-unspecified dates.

“We have been working tirelessly since Australia and we’re actively engaged with our promoters in putting together a potential 2020 race calendar,” said Carey.

“We have two primary challenges: Identifying locations where we can hold a race and determining how we transport all necessary parties and their equipment to that location for a race. We’re in discussions with all of our promoters as well some tracks that are not currently on our 2020 calendar to make sure that we explore all options.”

As RaceFans previously reported, one venue under consideration is the Hockenheimring, which held the German Grand Prix last year. There are several reasons why a race at the German track could appeal to F1.

Among the limited number of venues which have the necessary FIA grade one certification to hold an F1 race, the Hockenheimring is one of the closest to the predominantly British-based teams. Deaths due to the pandemic have fallen over the past month in Germany and its government has begun easing restrictions on its population as a result.

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Carey said the possibility of holding two consecutive race weekends at the Red Bull Ring is under serious consideration.

“Our goal is to launch the season on the weekend of July 4th and 5th in Austria. It is likely that we race the weekend of July 11th and 12th in Austria as well.

“We are in the advanced stages of putting together a schedule of additional European races through early September, including races during the traditional August break.”

He is optimistic the sport will not have to hold all its races this year behind closed doors.

“We expect the early part of the calendar to be races without fans but we hope to be able to allow fans to attend in the latter part of the year,” said Carey.

“We are working with the FIA, local authorities and other experts to identify the steps and procedures necessary to safely transport everyone to each race location and to enable those individuals to operate and be housed in a safe and secure manner. We feel increasingly positive about the number of locations that will be able, and want, to hold races this year.”

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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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39 comments on “Tracks not on original 2020 calendar could hold F1 races this year – Carey”

  1. You can cancel Zandvoort for 2021 as well. The Dutch Primeminister announced yesterday that big events will be forbidden until there is a vaccine. That could take a year from now or longer.

    As Zandvoort doesn’t get any state-funding, they are relying 100% on sponsors and ticket sales and this news means there will be no spectators allowed until there’s a vaccine.

  2. But don’t count on ‘those’ circuits to a great extent. Nevertheless, should Hockenheim become a viable option, it’d be better to have it as the second circuit following Red Bull Ring than Silverstone due to the distance, which would make racing there on both July 19 and 26 more achievable than Silverstone on those days.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      7th May 2020, 16:27

      And perhaps, one day, for logistic, economical and logical reasons, we might have more races near each other brought together in the calendar too, like the Austrian and Hungarian ones, or the Dutch and Belgian.

      1. @Jose Lopes da Silva Maybe, but the former of the two examples you brought up won’t happen this year at least as the Hungarian GP can’t really take place earlier than the latter half of August unless the Austrian GP got pushed back.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          9th May 2020, 12:04

          Sure. This year is the exception for everything. I’m considering in the long run.

    2. I would very much prefer some of the old tracks over multiple races in one track.

  3. Donington, Brands Hatch and Silverstone. Two races at each track.

    1. @melthom Not a bad idea, but for limiting moving from one place to another (even within the same country) better to stick with one circuit.

    2. Interesting. No spectators?

      1. That list looks out of date to me.

        1. Shaun Field
          8th May 2020, 5:01

 has the updated list of all graded circuits if you need it.

          Worth noting that several of the Grade 2 listed circuits meet grade 1 requirements in every way, just didn’t need the more expensive licence.

          1. That, and also some of them just lack some facilities which may not be essential for a race behind closed doors

  4. Please be Turkey. Please be Turkey. Please be Turkey.

    1. Yes! Always regretted not attending an F1 race there.

    2. @sattalyte Don’t get your hopes up on that.

  5. Does this in any way suggest Imola? Oh please.

    1. @delboand
      Imola and subsequently Mugello have shown interest for a potential GP after Shanhai GP has been cancelled.
      The company managing Imola were aiming for a one off event (Shanghai replacement) while Mugello’s management have expressed before their interest of the hosting the Italian GP if Monza was no longer considered in the Calendar and were intending to present their own application to liberty this year in March.
      However Liberty’s response at the time was that no GP would replace Shanghai on the calendar as they were aiming to reschedule it later in the year.

  6. I thought Silverstone would be held the week after Austria.

    1. @Stuart A circuit on the continental-Europe would be a more viable option to follow Austria.

  7. I think it’s important to have as little movement as possible, with two races per track.
    The most important thing here is if it’s possible or not to have that minimum of 8 races to be a world championship or not. If not then don’t bother, it will be worse for F1’s image. But I do hope they can get to 10-12.

    What is the status of the other rule – about having races on at least 3 continents – is that realistic at this point? I doubt they will go further than the Middle East, so they might really look past that rule, right?

    1. @macaque Middle East is part of Asia, so they’d have to have a race on the Americas to fill the minimum continent-requirement.

      1. Or the FIA could make an executive decision under such exceptional circumstances and waive that requirement.
        Most regulations are subject to FIA’s discretion. They make the rules, and they can change them.

      2. If Baku hosts the European GP then surely Bahrain can be part of Africa for a week or two.

  8. Mugello?

  9. This is a list of FIA Grade 1 Circuits in Europe that don’t currently have F1 races.

    Algarve (Portimão), Portugal (Has been used for testing)
    Estoril, Portugal (Held the Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984-1996)
    Hockenheim, Germany (Held the last 4 German Grand Prix’s)
    Imola, Italy (Held the San Marino Grand Prix 1981-2006)
    Jerez, Spain (Held both the Spanish Grand Prix 1986-1990 and the European Grand Prix 1994 and 1997)
    Magny-Cours, France (Held the French Grand Prix from 1991-2008)
    Moscow Raceway, Russia
    Nürburgring, Germany (Last held German Grand Prix in 2013)
    Alcañiz (Aragón), Spain
    Mugello, Italy (Has been used for testing owned by Ferrari)

  10. Given their desperation to get racing, I’m wondering how long it will be before Liberty convinces the FIA to waive the need for a Grade 1 track.

    I’m sure there’s tracks of some sort in countries that aren’t affected by the virus, or those that say they’re not affected, that would welcome the F1 circus with open arms and wallets.

    They’ll probably even allow spectators. I’d imagine Miami would even jump at the chance given Florida is pretty much open for business.

    1. @dbradock Miami wouldn’t be ready for this year. Nothing’s ready there concerning the proposed track layout(s).

      1. Hi @jerejj I know that. I think you may have missed my sarcasm.

        1. @dbradock Yes, I did because it wasn’t obvious. Usually, I can see if someone’s (or attempts to be) sarcastic, but not always.

          1. Apologies – probably not my best work :)

  11. If only they hadn’t dug it up, they could have double-headered Hockenheim: 1 race on the pre-2002 version, 1 race post-2002.

    Given how the recovery is going in Asia, can’t see why races in Yeongam, Fuji and Sepang wouldn’t be added before racing in countries with very slow recoveries.

    1. @kazinho The older part of the track doesn’t exist anymore. As for second paragraph: Forget Yeongam, and I wouldn’t really count on Sepang either, but Fuji might be a more viable option out of these three.

      1. I think that’s what he meant with his first 7 words.

  12. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    8th May 2020, 9:43

    I can’t see Canada on the schedule this year as Trudeau has said no sporting events all summer. And surely the FIA wouldn’t step foot on US soil this year even though they are opening up again with 28,000 new cases yesterday.

  13. Coefficient
    8th May 2020, 13:38


  14. Portimao would be great. Especially if they don’t use the chicane first corner. Has one of my favourite sim-racing corners (Samsung, turn 9).

  15. PeterRogers
    8th May 2020, 16:56

    A lot of people saying Imola….. Only to then do nothing but complain about how boring the race is just as always used to happen in the past.

    Would likely be the same with Mugello which is an exceptionally aero dependant track through the middle sector with quite a few long, fast/medium speed circuits. Even the lower less aero dependant categories like F3 struggle to do much in terms of racing at Mugello. It’s a bike track that also just about works for GT/Touring cars but it’s awful for open wheel cars when it comes to racing.

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