Mugello, 2012

Green light expected for Mugello and Algarve F1 races

2020 F1 season

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Two circuits which have never previously held rounds of the world championship are expected to be added to the 2020 F1 calendar in the near future.

Italy’s Mugello circuit and the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal are poised to join the championship schedule. An announcement is expected ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix.

As RaceFans revealed earlier this month, Mugello is set to follow Monza as the second Italian round of the championship this year. The Ferrari-owned track will play host to the team’s 1000th appearance in a world championship race which their 2020 chassis, the SF1000, is named after.

That race will conclude the third run of three consecutive races which will begin with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 30th. Following a weekend off, a fourth run of three consecutive races will be held.

This may begin with the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom on its original scheduled date of September 27th. However F1 may not be ready to commit to races outside continental Europe at this stage, in which case a third addition to the original calendar is being considered as a back-up option.

Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2009
Pictures: When F1 put one foot in the Algarve
The Hockenheimring, which held the German Grand Prix last year but did not feature on the 2020 schedule, has emerged as the likely destination for F1 if the Sochi race cannot go ahead as planned. This will be followed by a race at the Algarve circuit in Portimao.

Like Mugello, Algarve has never previously hosted a round of the world championships. However teams have tested at both venues – several F1 teams visited Mugello in 2012 and Ferrari did last week, and groups of teams went to the Portimao track in 2008 and 2009.

This three-race run is expected to conclude with the postponed Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on October 11th.

F1’s plans for the remainder of the season remain yet to be confirmed. However this arrangement would allow for a one-week break before the originally scheduled back-to-back races at Circuit of the Americas and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The uncertainty created by the pandemic makes these plans highly tentative.

However given F1’s plan to end its season with races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December, these plans would put it on course to surpass its targeted minimum of 15 races.

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21 comments on “Green light expected for Mugello and Algarve F1 races”

  1. This has put a smile on my face

    1. Sounds good indeed! Looks like this season is full of surprises.

  2. It’d be better to have two races in Portimao (or one in Jerez) than travel to Montreal for the third weekend. Yes, Portimao is closer to Montreal than Baku is, but still, under the circumstances created by the global situation, doing a triple-header featuring a race(s) on a different continent(s) isn’t as ideal as normal. Triple-header with all three in question being in the same continent, yes, but a triple-header featuring transatlantic crossing (albeit via air) not as ideal.
    Placing Montreal in October would be a mistake. I would use the phrase ‘I told you so’ if F1 indeed were to go there in October, and drivers would have unnecessarily huge problems with getting the tyres up to temperature due to the probable coldness making it difficult for them to really do anything.
    What about China and its potential rescheduling and or possibly getting two races?
    Vietnam is also still open, albeit unlikely to get rescheduled. I still doubt the US-Mexico-Brazil trio would happen this year. Any of these three, I mean.
    I still doubt the US-Mexico-Brazil trio would happen this year. Any of these three, I mean.

    1. It seems I got the part about US-Mexico-Brazil twice there, which wasn’t my intention, but happened after I altered my original wording to include Vietnam in there.

      1. Is Vietnam open though? Tourists are still not allowed in, borders are closed and I have seen no announcement of any opening date.

    2. I can understand their push to keep Canada in there though @jerejj. Remember, the venue has a race booked, and they are at least contractually obliged to try and find an alternative date. It can always be cancelled if things start to look unlikely.
      But IF they actually manage to get in Canada in October that means they can then safely drop CotA (in Texas with a huge rise in caseload currently) and Mexico (also still on the rise and in the middle of a gigantic city) and still fullfill the 3 contitents part of a world championship.

      I guess we’ll all be glad if they have a nice and long autumn in Canada this year.

      1. @bascb I agree. Yes, I’ve made my opposition for a Canadian GP in October quite clear more than once recently. I, of course, understand contractual obligation(s), etc., and can understand the desperation for rescuing the Canadian GP in case the other two North American-races along with Brazil lose out (as seems quite likely) so that they wouldn’t have to waive the minimum number of continents-requirement for this year.

      2. @bascb They said they don’t need ‘races 3 continents’ rule to declare the championship ‘world’. They just need 8 races in total minimum and 15 to get paid by the broadcasters.

        Otherwise if Canada gets rescheduled in October and actually does happen, i’m very very curious to see how the teams will cope to the low temperatures combined with rain and perhaps snow.
        If we have a almost-snowy grand prix, along with the sudden appearance of Mugello, Algarve and possibly Hockenheim and Imola at the expense of Paul-Ricard & Sochi that will bring more unpredictability as the teams have zero data, plus the crazy 85+lap ‘oval’ race in Bahrain as the second-to-last round then this season…and the smaller old-school championship that means points are more valuable than before and if something bad happens on a race for a driver it would take a significant toll on the standings, then we might actually have a much better, crazy and unpredictable championship than we originaly planed and hoped.

        1. It will certainly make this F1 season quite a rollercoaster for everything involved @black!

          I can only hope it will give us some really good racing. If they manage to leave Sochi out that is certainly a positive IMO, even though it probably means a pretty big cut to their budgets.

  3. These should become racing spectacles for today’s Grand Prix Stars. The cars will look fantastic at Mugello and should be very fast. Decent elevation change too. The place was made for this generation of racecar. Pick your poison scary Fast Speed or stunning cornering and brakes that tug on the eyeballs. Such a unique track. Worthy of Formula One. The other track I know little of other than the words in a recent story told here of was it Seb or Max who spoke highly of that circuit.
    I think the choices are with merit.
    It’ll be nice to see them race on great purpose built race circuits

    1. Right? I’m not sure about following and overtaking in Mugello, even though the main straight is pretty long, but whatever. These cars should be fantastic there! It could be a real challenge for the drivers due to the high cornering speeds all around the track and I’ve always been a sucker for some great scenery around a racetrack and Mugello definitely provides that.

      Hope they announce it this week!

    2. Holmzini, it seems odd that, for all those who have beaten the drum about the quality of the racing, that aspect is being downgraded in importance and now greater emphasis is being placed on the spectacle – now we have people going “so what if the races are rubbish? At least the cars will go fast and it’ll look impressive”.

      1. How the cars appear on the race track is what it is about.
        Rules makers in pursuit of fairness and equality have ruined time and time again if the more effective teams figure it out then the rules must be changed for the better of all.
        I personally love dominance in Grand Prix Racing. Hard to imagine when new rules create a new generation of Racecar that every team produces almost it very similar racing machine. So similar that a couple of seconds per lap is the usual difference from the best to the worst team every season. How does that happen in the secret world of racing at this level.
        The best looking cars are always fastest. Few ugly cars make it. Just look at this sports history. As rules come and go some teams figure it All out and dominate.
        If your entire operation figures out how to build a race car good enough for victory and can continue to do it through major reg changes then I applaud their Dominance. After all that what it’s about. Build machines to common parameters and let them do that and then race them in many nations on very different race tracks. All with one purpose to be the BEST. Then do it year after year. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?
        So start with a very cool car and nine times out three they will get victories far and above the odd radical misjudged ugly racecars.
        Example think of Colin Chapman and Lotus. Far out clever designs some of which are the among the greatest looking cars with success ever. They were also the best looking black colored cars for several generations of Lotus racecars.
        You should be able to visualize the 49 and then the 72 but most certain the 79.
        All Black Cars that look far better than this stunning appearance today of the Mercedes. Not good stunning either.
        So it’s more than obvious now that a cool looking Racecar yields far better results. And once in a while a truly great team figures it year after year in utter dominance. Whether winning by a single point or wrapping it up at round fourteen to be that dominant is greatness
        All starts with a cool car

  4. @16mi Totally agree, overtaking is going to be very very difficult I imagine, but they’ll look fantastic, and I can’t think of another F1 track that we’ve had that’s been similar. It’ll be a nice change.

  5. Mugello will be great. I also dare to dream that Sochi and Shanghai will be out of the calendar this year.

  6. These signings only mean one thing in my opinion, the American part of the calendar is very uncertain. I’m 100% sure that Brazil and Mexico won’t happen this year and US, Canada are also questionable. Glad that we won’t be getting two races at Sochi, though.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur The US is very questionable as it is, after all, the country with the highest figures in the world, and especially Texas where COTA locates, so a quite a big miracle would have to happen so that the US GP could take place this year even without spectators in attendance.

  7. Looking forward to watching these cars unleashed at Mugello. I would have thought the track is a little bit too dangerous for F1, but glad to see they aren’t being risk averse.

  8. One of the best news so far this year.
    Both Mugello and Portimao are fantastic scenarios for formula 1, quite the opposite of those dreadful places in Russia and the Arab countries for example.
    Hopefully they will continue to the future on the calendar and the scenarios in countries where nobody cares at all about this category, only the millionaires who profit from them and the tyrants who make propaganda, they definitely disappear.

  9. Would be happy to see F1 at both, Algarve especially as i’ve always liked that track.

    Mugello is going to be a great track to drive & a spectacle to watch cars driving around but i’m not expecting it will be especially good from a racing standpoint. I honestly don’t think i’ve ever seen a good race around Mugello involving cars & that includes the touring car races i’ve seen around there.

    Algarve should be a bit better in terms of racing but I still don’t think overtaking is going to be that easy. Sadly I think they may end up using the chicane variation of turn 1 to create a big braking zone at the end of the straight, Will likely help with overtaking but it’s a horrible variation compared to the very fast right kink that I believe is used most frequently.

  10. Get ready for weird keyboard combinations to get the name right: Portimão

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