Start, Red Bull Ring, 2019

F1 officially confirms first eight races for start of 2020 season

2020 F1 calendar

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Formula 1 has officially confirmed further details of its plan to begin its heavily delayed 2020 season next month.

The championship will begin with back-to-back races at the Red Bull Ring on July 5th and 12th. A third race at the Hungaroring on July 19th will mean the championship begins with a triple-header of races.

The second triple-header in F1’s history will be followed by a third two weeks later. The championship will hold two races at Silverstone on August 2nd and 9th, before heading to the Circuit de Catalunya for the postponed Spanish Grand Prix one week later.

F1 will therefore begin the year with six races in the space of seven weeks, which has prompted concerns teams could run out of spare parts.

The extra races in Austria and Britain will be called the “Steiermark Grand Prix” and “70th Anniversary Grand Prix” respectively. The latter refers to the 70th anniversary of the world championship, which began in 1950.

Following a two-week break, the Belgian and Italian rounds will then be held on their original scheduled dates of August 30th and September 6th.

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Start, Silverstone, 2019
Silverstone will hold the ’70th Anniversy Grand Prix’
Formula 1 stressed “the health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority number one” and said it “expects” the opening rounds will be Closed Events – the sport’s term for races held without fans. RaceFans understands Monza is investigating ways of accommodating a limited number of fans at its race if it can be done safely.

The sport intends to confirm the details of its remaining races “in the coming weeks”.

Formula 2 and Formula 3 have announced they will hold support races at all eight rounds, and will announce further events on their calendars at a later date.

This year’s grands prix in Australia, the Netherlands, Monaco and France have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The rounds in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Azerbaijan and Canada are all seeking new dates.

First eight F1 races of 2020 confirmed

Round Race Location Dates Support races
1 Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring July 3rd-5th Formula 2, Formula 3
2 Steiermark Grand Prix Red Bull Ring July 10th-12th Formula 2, Formula 3
3 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring July 17th-19th Formula 2, Formula 3
4 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 31st-August 2nd Formula 2, Formula 3
5 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Silverstone August 7th-9th Formula 2, Formula 3
6 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya August 14th-16th Formula 2, Formula 3
7 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 28th-30th Formula 2, Formula 3
8 Italian Grand Prix Monza September 4th-6th Formula 2, Formula 3

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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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70 comments on “F1 officially confirms first eight races for start of 2020 season”

  1. 70th Anniversary Grand Prix :-)

    1. Awful, should’ve been the European Grand Prix, which was the name of that race 70 years ago

      1. I’d’ve preferred to see them stick to the name of a region, and ‘European’ would have been perfect given the history of the first world championship race as you mentioned.

        1. Aye :)

        2. @ keuth…I think that Brexit rather killed that name off!

    2. Well, the five lights are on. Now we wait for them to go out.

    3. Wouldn’t some people from the UK protest an European GP, given Brexit and stuff?

  2. “The second triple-header in F1’s history”? Isn’t it third? I think we had a triple-header in 2018.

    1. Ah, nevermind. Should’ve read the entire paragraph

  3. Two triple headers? With just one week of break in between them? The teams will seriously be up against it even though it has been a 2 month break. I have never been a fan of multiple triple headers in one season, but couldn’t they have given at least a two week break rather than a one week break in between? We don’t even have the calendar after Italy.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      2nd June 2020, 10:29

      We’re amid a one-in-a-century pandemic scenario.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        2nd June 2020, 10:34

        one in a century.. so far…

        1. Oh, cheers for that.

        2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk Not really given the SARS and Swine Influeza-epidemics albeit (apparently) not as bad as this one.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            2nd June 2020, 12:35

            It was a joke!
            Of course we have no idea when the next pandemic will arrive. Impossible to know.

    2. You are joking right? Both of these triple headers start with 2 races at the same track on two consecutive weekends, it’s less work. NASCAR have been running multiple races a week to try and catch up.

      Sure, if you want all the teams to close shop due to loss of income related to breaking sponsorship commitments for races / TV $ lets just pretend nothing is different this year.

    3. But 2 races in both triple headers are on the same circuit so teams don’t even need to move.

  4. Awesome news and great to have some clarity.

    Is there any news about the naming convention these double-header races will take? Historically when we’ve had two races in a single country they’ve gone by different names (Italian GP + San Marino GP / German GP + Luxembourg GP / Japanese GP + Pacific GP), albeit this has been at different circuits.

    I haven’t heard anything about this but surely it will be confusing for them both to be referred to as the 2020 Austrian GP, and the 2020 Austrian GP2 would instantly make me think it was the feeder series (now F2).

    Either way, we could have some interesting suggestions here. Name the second GP. Personally I’d go for something like:

    Austrian GP + Spielberg GP
    British GP + East Midlands GP

    1. It says in the article ;)

    2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      2nd June 2020, 10:27

      Article has now been updated with these: “Grosser Preis der Steiermark” which I would translate as “Styrian Grand Prix” for Austria.
      “70th Anniversary Grand Prix” for the second UK round.

      1. I had to look it up. Wikipedia told me:

        Styria (Steiermark) is a mountainous, forested state in southern Austria, known for its wine, spas and castles. Graz …[is]…the riverside state capital.

    3. ColdFly (@)
      2nd June 2020, 10:33

      I would go for a more dyslectic challenging combination: Austrian GP & Australian GP.
      And for the second set of single venue GP’s they can add a more future robust name: British GP and GP of England (swapping the GP around adds a nice historic feel to it).

    4. Thanks guys, I’m sure that wasn’t there when I first read the article! 70th Anniversary Grand Prix is an interesting choice.

      @coldfly – I wonder how many times the commentators will make that mistake. “Welcome to the season-opening race in Australia, sorry Austria!”).

      I suppose it would’ve been quite confusing to have an East Midlands GP and a Middle Eastern GP when Bahrain announces a second race :)

      1. I suppose it would’ve been quite confusing to have an East Midlands GP and a Middle Eastern GP

        And fortunately this team is no longer active. XD

    5. @sbewers @coldfly @hammerheadgb @shimks @ecwdanselby
      I couldn’t care less for trivial things such as the specific naming of races:
      I’m just going to refer to them as Red Bull Ring I and II, Silverstone I and II, and so on if there’d be another one or more circuits with races on subsequent weekends later.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        2nd June 2020, 13:30

        Fair point commenter CXXIV.

  5. Courtney Ives
    2nd June 2020, 10:31

    I would love to see the BTCC as a supporting race for one of the weekends! Unlikely, but one can hope!

  6. I don’t know if Stattos are going to love or hate this. Imagine winning at Silverstone but not having “won British GP” on resumé or a commentator having to explain that Hamilton has won 7 races at Silverstone but only 6 British Grands Prix etc.

    1. The European Grand Prix (and the San Marino one) already caused a lot of these problems. Nigel Mansell won four British GPs, three races at Silverstone and two at Brands Hatch, for example. Michael Schumacher actually won more races in Germany that weren’t the German Grand Prix than he won German Grands Prix.

      1. ColdFly (@)
        2nd June 2020, 12:03

        Michael Schumacher actually won more races in Germany that weren’t the German Grand Prix than he won German Grands Prix.

        I miss the stats & facts (almost as much as the Caption Competition).

  7. Unless I’m very much mistaken, this will be the first time since the non-championship race at Brands Hatch in 1983 (Race of Champions) that a F1 race has had name that is not directly linked with a country or other location. I suppose the previous such World Championship GP was the Caesars Palace GP from 1981/82 (compare with renaming the Monaco GP to Lowes GP or the British GP to whatever buildings are near the track).

    1. The race in 1983 at Brands was the European GP – won by de Angelis. Was definitely a championship race and I must have been there as I still have the photos…

      1. Yes, but in addition to the European GP they ran the Race of Champions at Brands.

  8. I wonder what effect the unknown calendar length will have on the drivers. If you know that there will be 20 races, you might be inclined to lean towards consistency. If there are only 8 races, every point will be critical and it’s difficult to make up ground on even one retirement. At the moment it seems we’re going to get something like 16 races crammed into the season.

    Obviously every driver turns up with the intention of winning at every race, but I wonder if attrition might be higher as a sort of “smash and grab while you can” attitude sets in.

    1. @ben-n that’s a very good point indeed, although I guess there will be a full official calendar before the first race starts.

      It has some other interesting ramifications. For instance, what will happen with the PU components? The original number for how many of each could be used was for 20 races, will they still have the same number for, let’s say 14 races? On the other hand less races also emphasizes the importance of reliability, as a mechanical DNF would mean a “bigger” loss when considering the total number of points available throughout the season.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        2nd June 2020, 12:38

        I’d imagine the allocation of units would be pro-rata.

        So if there are 3 engines for 22 races that’s 0.1363 of an engine per race.

        So for 14 races that’s 0.1363 x 14 races = 1.9082 engines. Round (up?) = 2 engines for 14 races.

        1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk they’ll have to change the sporting regulations for that, or at least its wording:

          Unless he drives for more than one team (see 23.3(c) below), and subject to the
          additions described below, each driver may use no more than 3 engines (ICE), 3 motor
          generator units-heat (MGU-H), 3 turbochargers (TC), 2 energy stores (ES), 2 control
          electronics (CE) and 3 motor generator units-kinetic (MGU-K) during a Championship

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            2nd June 2020, 14:34

            I was only imagining what they might do in a logical world, of course this of F1. Logic doesn’t apply.

            They should change the wording anyway. They are are using a male pronoun, this is very non-pc. Don’t let Lewis see this.

        1. @keithcollantine thanks, I definitely missed that article. I still think they’ll need to publish a final calendar; someone might potentially need a third ICE by the third race, and that might or might not be penalized depending on the total number of races.

  9. Time to get me refund!

  10. The season starting in Austria can actually be beneficial for the championship. It’s a track where the mercs have struggled in recent years. If max can keep it together and win the first two races, we can have an exciting year

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      3rd June 2020, 4:31

      I believe last year’s race had unusually high temperatures and tyre issues. Who knows, Merc might have worked on their cooling, not to mention DAS coming into play ;)

  11. Regarding the last paragraph: The Canadian GP most definitely (99% guaranteed) won’t get rescheduled despite still not being ‘officially’ called off for this year (something that would’ve been better to do outright). The window for ideal temps and weather conditions within Montreal’s climate zone just isn’t flexible enough to really give any room for pushing it back later into the year. Azerbaijan is also a tricky one, but for different reasons.

    1. @jerejj Yeah Montreal would be fine through September, and even halfway into October there can still be some lovely days, but they get fewer and fewer and colder and colder after that.

      1. @robbie Until mid-September, but not really any later than that. The window for ideal temps is roughly from mid-May until halfway through September. The very first Montreal-race took place on October 8 and the ambient temp was around 5 C, so not worth putting it further into the Northern Hemisphere-autumn than the middle of September. Most definitely not around the COTA/Mexico-phase of the year. The Northern Hemisphere-summer is effectively the only suitable time of year for F1 there. The distance to Europe isn’t in favor of rescheduling either.

        1. @jerejj Yeah fair enough, I’m a half hour north of Toronto and consider September to be another month of summer much of the time, although for sure some days can be like fall and some can be like summer. For sure it becomes a roll of the dice as to what one weekend might bring over another. I know that I usually am cutting the grass for the last time sometime in October, sometimes early, sometimes later in the month.

          1. @robbie True, there can be a warmer-than-usual type of days later in autumn, but those happen more by chance as to what weekend might get those or what day of the week or month in general. It gets more and more inconsistent and, of course, colder further into the autumn.

          2. The sunspot activity is kicking up after many years of being absent. Might have some early rains this year up north. I get the impression this winter’s weather will be drastically different than recent past years.

  12. Why couldn’t one of the Silverstone or Red Bull Ring races have been designated the EUROPEAN GP ??

    1. Lots of eurosceptics these days?

  13. When was the last time the F1 season started in Europe?

    1. 1966, Monaco

  14. DAllein (@)
    2nd June 2020, 13:52

    Double-races are total stupudity and needed only because of broadcasters, but in general I think that’s a good start.

  15. I would rather f1 not race at all than have 2 races at the same track in 1 week, especially those 2 tracks. Tracks are often specific to teams permformance, it will be terrible to re-watch the same race one week later, which is how it will likely end up. I’m not paying for this pathetic sequence of races, they should have at least the races to free to air TV to entice fans back. I would rather watch Nascar than 2 races at the a1 ring, a dreadful race track for modern f1.

    1. @kpcart Red Bull Ring hasn’t been a dreadful track for modern F1, though.

    2. I think the racing in the first few will be more randomized as the teams sort out their cars. i suspect the second race a week later at the same track will not be anywhere close to a repeat of the previous race.

  16. Great to see F1 will soon be back, but I really wish that instead of round 5 being GB again that they’d chosen to have the Portuguese GP at the Algarve International Circuit… :(

  17. Both Silverstone races clash with the opening 2 btcc rounds! Noooo

  18. Is the RaceFans Google Calendar getting updated? I’ve still got Canada as the first race on 14JUN20.

  19. The 70th Anniversary GP just cannot be a reverse grid race. Although, they could slip in something classic. I do not really know what would be a classic move for that weekend. Warm-up, maybe? But that would be of little significance.

  20. Do these races all follow the current weekend format? Practice on Friday, qualifying Saturday and the race on Sunday? I’ve not seen it noted anywhere. I hope things keep going in the right direction and no second waves spring up anywhere as July is still a while away and more lockdowns haven’t been ruled out if the numbers pick up again. Thinking positive and hopefully we’re enjoying F1 in July with no or very low new cases reported worldwide.

  21. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    2nd June 2020, 18:39

    So, publishing the dates of this 8 races lets us have a 2020 world champion. Don’t be surprised if no more races are held this year.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      3rd June 2020, 4:36

      My thoughts exactly. Though the Midddle East leg (Bahrain, Abu Dhabi) is guaranteed to be held because of $$.

  22. Unless they can run different configurations, I’m not a fan of double races within such a short time period as the chances of the second race mirroring the first are far too great.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      3rd June 2020, 4:40

      It’s possible that the teams which didn’t perform well in the first race could go for an alternative strategy in the second, in turn forcing other teams to react. Could perhaps lead to an entertaining second gp!

  23. I still think they should have used the European GP as the title for one of the second races. You sometimes feel that they try to be different just for the sake of it.

    I also think that having so many races close together is too ambitious and time consuming for the fans as well. 5 races in 7 weeks would have been enough. But then I think they should try to compromise on the number of races they hold this year. I believe they need to hold a minimum of 15 for TV deal purposes but that would be enough.

    They are going to have hold more than eight because I believe the FIA rules are such that races must be held on at least three continents.

  24. Good to see some clarity, and hopefully this schedule sticks! I’m looking forward to the RaceFans ICS calendar feed update to reflect this too. ;) Thanks!

  25. @keithcollantine are you able to update the RaceFans F1 2020 calendar with the updated calendar? Looking at it now, still says the Canadian GP is next weekend.

    Given all the changes, I feel like it’s even more important to have this calendar up to date :)

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