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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Formula 1 expects shortened season of 15-18 races

Formula 1 needs a minimum of eight races for the season to be a proper championship. The next race that is still on is the June 14 Canadian GP, but that looks uncertain, as does France on June 28.

By: Reuters | London | Published: March 24, 2020 12:52:25 pm
The first eight races of the season are either postponed or cancelled. (Source: AP Photo)

Formula 1 expects to run a shortened season of 15-18 grands prix once racing can resume after the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully during the European summer, chairman and chief executive Chase Carey said on Monday.

The original 2020 calendar had a record 22 races but the season has yet to start with the first eight postponed or cancelled and more likely to be called off.

Two, the opener in Australia and the showcase Monaco Grand Prix, have been cancelled while the others — Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan — need rescheduling.

“We are all committed to bringing our fans a 2020 championship season,” Carey said in a statement.

READ | F1 to hold virtual races in place of postponed GPs

“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.”

Formula One needs a minimum of eight races for the season to be a proper championship.

The next race that is still on is the June 14 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal but that also looks uncertain, as does France on June 28, and some are already questioning whether Formula One will race at all in 2020.

The coronavirus has laid waste to the sporting calendar, with the European Championship soccer tournament moved from June to next year and the Tokyo Summer Olympics in July-August set to be postponed.

READ | Bahrain, Vietnam GPs to be called off, Monaco GP postponed

REVISED CALENDAR

Carey recognised that nobody could be certain when the situation might improve but said the 10 teams would be ready to go racing when it did.

The revised calendar would be considerably shaken up from what was previously published, he added.

Formula One has already brought forward the traditional August break to three weeks in March and April so that it can create a space for rescheduling some of those races that had to be postponed.

Carey said he expected the season, which was due to finish in Abu Dhabi on Nov 29, to run into December “with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.

READ | Denny Hamlin wins virtual Homestead as NASCAR races again

“It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation,” added the American.

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