Formula 1 looks set to have its longest ever season in 2020, with teams having agreed in principle to run twenty-two races, one more than in the current campaign.
Races in Vietnam and the Netherlands have already been announced for next season, and it appears both the Spanish and Mexican events have been given lifelines after contracts with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez expire at the end of 2019.
It appears the only casualty from the current season will be the German Grand Prix, with no plans currently in place for the Hockenheimring to retain its place on the calendar despite the high profile presence of Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes AMG Motorsport in Formula 1 and the continuing emergence of Mick Schumacher in FIA Formula 2.
In a meeting chaired by Formula 1 boss Chase Carey at the Hungaroring on Sunday morning, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff has said twenty-two races have been agreed for 2020. However, it is likely the current allowed number of engine components will remain the same despite the additional race being added to the schedule.
“In a nutshell we basically agreed to have a twenty-second race,” Wolff is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “We’ve got to let Liberty do their business, and their business is to grow F1. If they are able to attract promoters, we’ve got to support them.
“So we shouldn’t change the technical regulations because we have an extra race. That was the debate we had. It shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to increase the number of components.
“But equally we’ve got to protect our people and all of us, because it could get to a point where it’s not manageable any more with one single crew. That becomes a factor that needs a solution.”
Liberty Media now need to work out the new calendar, with possible double-headers to start the year in Australia and Bahrain, China and Vietnam, and Netherlands and Spain.