The next three races of the 2020 Formula 1 calendar are close to being announced, with Imola, the Nurburgring and Portimao set to be added to the schedule.
F1 has been working on a number of potential races and calendar solutions for this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with different regions around the world at varying stages of dealing with the virus. Europe has been emerging from lockdown conditions and the shorter travel distances make it logistically easier to execute races within the continent, so another three rounds have been lined up for later in the year.
Following on from the tripleheader of Spa, Monza and Mugello, F1 will head to Sochi, Russia on the original date of September 27. That race will be a standalone event, with the sport then planning another standalone in Germany on October 11. While Hockenheim has had a number of discussions regarding hosting a race, RACER understands the Nurburgring is the more likely venue.
Then a new circuit is set to be added to the calendar, with Portimao — or the Algarve International Circuit — in Portugal (pictured above) scheduled to take place on October 25. F1 teams have tested at the venue in the past but it has never hosted a grand prix.
Portimao is expected to form a back-to-back with another iconic venue as Imola is lined up to host the third Italy-based race of the season on November 1. With Monza officially called the Italian Grand Prix, it remains to be seen if the return to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the first time since 2006 (pictured below) will lead to the moniker of the San Marino Grand Prix being resurrected.
Imola could also feature a tryout of a two-day race weekend format, something that has been discussed in the past in case future years bring calendars reaching up to 25 races.
The latter two race dates were originally held by the rounds in Austin’s Circuit of The Americas and Mexico City, but the North American rounds are looking increasingly unlikely, while confirmation of the additional three races in Europe would also suggest Canada won’t happen, given the Montreal climate in November.
A rescheduled Chinese Grand Prix is also now not expected to take place, and there remains uncertainty over plans to still travel to Vietnam in November as the additional European races would leave little time before a likely season finale of two races in Bahrain and one in Abu Dhabi.