In Brief

‘15 to 18 races’: F1 chief Chase Carey is hopeful of a revised calendar in 2020

Canada is the next scheduled grand prix but the country’s withdrawal from the Olympics puts Montreal race in doubt

Going into the 2020 season Formula 1 fans were looking forward to a grand prix calendar featuring a record 22 races. 

However, the rapid spread of the coronavirus has not just wiped the opening eight races off the schedule but has also thrown the 2020 campaign into disarray with no clear indication on when, or if, racing will resume. 

The postponement of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix means the next scheduled event on the 2020 calendar is the Canadian GP on 14 June. But according to reports the race at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal is also a major doubt.

Team Canada will not be sending any athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics if the games are held this summer and GP Fans says this has “prompted fresh doubts” over the Canadian GP.

Officials in Canada have issued a statement to confirm preparations are going ahead for the Montreal race, but the situation is “evolving rapidly”. 

The Canadian GP said: “The preparations for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix 2020 slated in the Formula 1 World Championship for June 12, 13 and 14 are going well and are following their course. This is a situation that we are constantly monitoring and that is evolving rapidly. 

“Please note that we are in constant communication with members of Formula 1, the FIA and public authorities.

“Our priority remains to host a safe event for both spectators and personnel. Should the situation continue to evolve we will lean on the expertise of public health professionals and will keep you updated.”

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F1 CEO Chase Carey spoke to media and fans ahead of the cancelled Australian Grand Prix

Charles Coates/Getty Images

Carey: we will be ready to go racing again

Following Monday’s postponement of the Azerbaijan GP, Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey provided another update on the 2020 season. He hopes that the revised calendar can feature 15 to 18 races and that the season will start in the summer. 

Carey said: “Over the past week, Formula 1, the ten F1 teams and the FIA have come together and taken rapid, decisive action as part of our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“While at present no-one can be certain of exactly when the situation will improve, it will improve and when it does, we will be ready to go racing again. We are all committed to bringing our fans a 2020 championship season. 

“We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races.

“As previously announced we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April to race during the normal summer break period, and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29 November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar. 

“It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month.

“We’re confident we’ll all get through this and see better days, ahead, and, when we do, we will ensure that everyone invested in this sport at every level feels rewarded.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

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