A grand prix at Mugello is one of the options for Formula 1 to expand the 2020 calendar, and the Italian circuit could even host Ferrari’s 1000th race.
F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey recently admitted he expects some of the remaining races beyond the currently confirmed eight rounds to fall off the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but said the sport has other options. Europe has been the focus for those alternatives due to the easier logistics, and Mugello has emerged as a serious candidate for a race.
RACER understands the Italian venue is available to F1 if required and has been discussed as a potential addition, with the most obvious slot at present being the week after the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, currently scheduled for September 6.
The recently-announced European scheduled has a set of three races – two in Austria and one in Hungary – being followed by another set of three, with two at Silverstone and one in Spain. There is one weekend off between each triple-header, and then a double-header of Spa and Monza at the end of August and start of September, after which Mugello could slot in.
Street circuits are looking increasingly unlikely to hold events, so should the Singapore Grand Prix not take place on September 20 then there is a wider window for another race in Italy, where the climate would be favorable into October.
Mugello is Ferrari-owned, and this year’s car has been named the SF1000 in reference to the fact that team is due to start its 1000th grand prix. Currently on 991 starts – according to the team itself, its 900th came in Belgium in 2015 – the ninth round of the season would represent that milestone.
While the circuit in Tuscany is an option and further European races could still be added, F1’s managing director of motor sport Ross Brawn is hopeful there will still be a number of events outside of Europe this year.
“Well, our objective, of course, is to have races fairly consistently from the point we start in July until we finish at the end of November, early December,” Brawn told RACER. “And therefore whether we continue into Europe for another few races or whether we’re able to then get away to some of the flyaways is still to be decided.
“The flyway races obviously pose another level of complication in terms of people getting there. There are much longer lead times because equipment has to be flown or go via sea freight, so we’re not able to respond as rapidly as we can to a European race. So that’s why it’s not been announced yet.
“And of course, all these countries are at different phases of dealing with this terrible pandemic we have. Some seem to be on the other side of it, others still seem to be on the upward slope, so I think we can put together a reasonable flyaway second half of the season, but we’re still working on it.”