Formula 1 season to start with eight races in Europe

LONDON (Agencies): The 2020 Formula 1 season will start in Austria on 5 July, the first of a run of eight races in Europe.

An F1 statement said the championship would begin across three consecutive weekends – two in Austria on 5 and 12 July and a third in Hungary.

There will then be a two-week break before two consecutive races in Britain and events in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

All will be run behind closed doors with participants following guidelines to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

The British Grands Prix at Silverstone will be held 2 and 9 August, followed immediately by the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona on 16 August.

The Belgian and Italian Grands Prix will complete the European part of the season on their original dates of 30 August and 6 September.

Plans for the remainder of the season were not announced, because of the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation in the various countries that would have made up the original schedule.

However, F1 said it had “an expectation of having a total of 15-18 races before we complete our season in December”.

It is understood that F1 is highly confident of finishing the championship with races in Bahrain on 6 December and Abu Dhabi on 13 December. Before that, the low incidence of coronavirus in China, Vietnam and Japan makes races in those countries a strong probability in October.

The Russian Grand Prix, which is pencilled in for after the European events along with the race in Azerbaijan, and those in the US, Mexico and Brazil are more uncertain because of the high rates of infection in those countries.

F1 2020 opening calendar

3-5 July – Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring)

10-12 July – Steiermark Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring)

17-19 July – Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring)

31 July-2 August – British Grand Prix (Silverstone)

7-9 August – 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone)

14-16 August – Spanish Grand Prix

28-30 August – Belgian Grand Prix

4-6 September – Italian Grand Prix.

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