Three more races have been officially cancelled in 2020 as Formula 1 looks to finalize its calendar, with Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan not hosting rounds this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on sporting events globally, with F1 having to rethink its original calendar due to the logistics of racing in different countries at various stages of the outbreak. As a result, the races in Azerbaijan and Singapore have been cancelled due to it not being possible to start construction of a street circuit amid the ongoing uncertainty over whether they’d be used.
In Japan’s case, the race at Suzuka has been cancelled because of ongoing travel restrictions in the country.
Despite those three cancellations, F1 is still confident of hitting its target of 15-18 races this season, with eight already confirmed in Europe and at least two planned to end the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. That means five more need confirming in September, October and November, with rounds in Russia, the United States, Mexico and Brazil yet to be confirmed or cancelled.
Postponed events in China, Vietnam and Canada are also still serious possibilities for rescheduling, with a fall date for the race in Montreal still being explored. Other venues such as Hockenheim and Mugello have also been sounded out about hosting European rounds in September if required, in an attempt to boost the calendar.
“Following the announcement earlier this month confirming the opening eight races of the Formula 1 calendar, Formula 1 is working with all partners to finalize the remaining calendar for the season,” an F1 statement read. “We are confident in our plans to have between 15-18 races by the time our season concludes in Abu Dhabi in mid-December and expect to publish the finalized calendar before we start our season in Austria.
“We have made significant progress with existing and new promoters on the revised calendar and have been particularly encouraged by the interest that has been shown by new venues in hosting a Formula 1 race during the 2020 season.”
Two venues — Austria and Silverstone — will host a pair of races at the same track, something that is being explored at multiple venues. F1 managing director Ross Brawn even hinted at using an oval-like layout in Bahrain, where a number of track configurations are available.