Formula 1 has today announced the opening phase of the all-new, curtailed 2020 F1 season after the cancellation and postponement of the first ten grands prix due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
After the Australian Grand Prix was called off in the middle of March, the 2020 FIA Formula 1 season has been put on hold. Since then, the FIA and the Formula One Management have been working tirelessly with authorities and race promoters in order to get the championship running.
Following lengthy discussions, Formula 1 has today released the opening rounds of the revised calendar. As expected, the F1 2020 is set to kick off at Spielberg on July 5 with the Austrian Grand Prix. Just a week after the season-opening event, the action will resume at the same location with the Steiermark Grand Prix.
Bringing the first triple-header to an end, the Hungarian Grand Prix will be staged at the Hungaroring on July 19. The British Grand Prix will commence the second triple-header at Silverstone on August 2 with a second race at the following weekend. The second event at Silverstone will be called the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in order to distinguish the two races.
August will see drivers battle it out in two other grands prix. The Spanish Grand Prix wil be staged on August 16, closing the second sequence of three races.
The Belgian and the Italian Grands Prix seem to have retained their original dates with the race at Spa taking place on August 30 and the grand prix at Monza being hosted on September 6.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said that tremendous work has been put into establishing the revised 2020 F1 calendar due the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the past weeks we have been working tirelessly with all our partners, the FIA and the teams to create a revised opening 2020 calendar allowing us to restart racing in the safest possible way.
"We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks. I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula 1.”
While Carey confirmed that the first grands prix will take place behind closed doors, he also expressed his hope that future races can be hosted with the attendance of fans.
"While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world,” he concluded.