Formula 1 is “increasingly confident” in its plans to start the 2020 season this summer and has provided an outline of a calendar that would start in Austria on July 5.
On the day the French Grand Prix was canceled and the British Grand Prix moved behind closed doors, F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey has issued an update on the sport’s work trying to reschedule the season. Targeting a summer of racing in Europe before moving to Asia, the Americas and then finishing the season in December with races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, Carey also hopes fans will be able to attend some of the latter events.
“Although this morning it was announced that the French Grand Prix, due to take place in late June, will not be going ahead, we are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer,” Carey said.
“We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria on July 3-5 weekend. 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 finalized calendar as soon as we possibly can.
“We expect the early races to be without fans but hope fans will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule. We still have to work out many issues like the procedures for the teams and our other partners to enter and operate in each country. The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority one and we will only go forward if we are confident we have reliable procedures to address both risks and possible issues.”
Of the ten races so far called off, Australia, Monaco and France will definitely not take place, leaving Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Spain, Azerbaijan and Canada as potentially being rescheduled.
Carey admits the plans remain uncertain but wants to outline the work the sport has been doing on a number of fronts during the past six weeks, including aiding the response to COVID-19 and addressing future regulations.
“The FIA, teams, promoters, and other key partners have been working with us throughout these steps and we want to thank them for all their support and efforts during this incredibly challenging time. We also want to recognize the fact that the teams have been supporting us at the same time that they have been focusing enormous and heroic efforts to build ventilators to help those infected by COVID-19.
“While we have been moving forward with our 2020 plans, we have also been working hard with the FIA and the teams to strengthen the long term future of Formula 1 through an array of new technical, sporting, and financial regulations that will improve the competition and action on the track and make it a healthier business for all involved, particularly as we engage the issues created by the COVID-19 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. We all want the world to return to the one we know and cherish, yet we recognize 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.”