Formula 1 is still trying to adapt its calendar to the coronavirus pandemic with the goal to start the 2020 season safely once the global situation improves. It seems that things are moving in the right direction, as explained in a recent statement by Chase Carey, F1 CEO.
According to his statement, the objective is to have the championship starting with a race on 5 July in Austria and ending in December with the Abu Dhabi GP. Formula 1 is expecting a total of between 15 and 18 races, organized by continents:
“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.”
“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 3-5 July 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.”
But the calendar is not completely defined, Chase explained that when this happens, they’ll go public with it.
“We will publish our finalized calendar as soon as we possibly can.”
One of the consequences of starting the season in July will be that at least the first races will be held without fans in the stands, as Carey mentioned, also given the recent announcement that the British GP will happen with no fans if it goes ahead.
“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.”
Carey has taken the opportunity to thank everyone involved in the category for their efforts. In addition, he confirmed that they are working on changes to the rules for a better future of F1
“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.”
However, F1 CEO wanted to emphasize that not everything is completely defined. As a result of the global situation is still unknown, the main thing is the safety of people and they must adapt as the pandemic develops.
“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.” he concluded.