Formula 1 has released the first draft of its 2020 calendar that includes a record 22 races, with new additions in Vietnam and the Netherlands early in the season.
Following extensive negotiations, F1 has agreed to the largest season in its history with only Germany not remaining on the calendar from this season’s races. The Spanish Grand Prix remains in place after the announcement of a new deal earlier this week, and will form the second half of a back-to-back with the returning round at Zandvoort to kick off the European season.
The 2020 season will get underway in Melbourne on March 15 and is immediately followed by Bahrain on March 22, while the third round is a standalone event as Vietnam debuts, and F1 CEO Chase Carey says the calendar features a mix of historic and new venues.
“It’s with great pleasure that today we publish the draft 2020 calendar,” Carey said. “It’s the year in which the series that is the pinnacle of motorsport celebrates its 70th anniversary with, for the first time, a 22-race calendar.
“It is significant for our sport and confirms our long-term strategy. Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula 1 and at the same time, consolidating our presence in Europe, the traditional home of the sport.
“Therefore, we have Vietnam making its debut in the capital Hanoi, one of the most exciting cities in the world right now with such a rich history and an incredible future ahead of it. And we also have the return of the historic Zandvoort circuit, on the outskirts of another vibrant city, Amsterdam, for the Dutch Grand Prix.
“In addition, we have extended our agreement with Silverstone, home to the British Grand Prix, which in 1950 hosted the first of the 1009 events held to date and we are in negotiations with the Monza circuit which has hosted more Grands Prix (68) than any other track.
“We are also pleased that, this year, we have renewed the agreements with Mexico City and two countries, Australia and Azerbaijan, which have gone for long-term extensions well ahead of the end of their current contracts with us.
“The season with a record 22 Grands Prix has received unanimous support from the FIA and all the teams and clearly demonstrates the confidence that exists in the future of our sport, which with over 500 million fans remains one of the most followed and popular in the world.”
While the Italian Grand Prix is still subject to approval, an agreement is believed to be close, and next year is also likely to see a reduction in testing to accommodate the extra race weekend.