Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has issued a response to the 2020 Formula 1 race calendar shuffle as it assesses options which are likely to include possible rescheduling amid the coronavirus outbreak.

F1 officials confirmed both the Bahrain and Vietnam rounds have been postponed, with the sport aiming to start its season “in Europe at the end of May” depending on how the coronavirus situation develops.

The Spanish Grand Prix is currently scheduled for May 8-10, one week after the Dutch Grand Prix which is provisionally set to host the new opener, but Zandvoort officials are already preparing for a schedule change.

F1’s plans suggest the Spanish round faces a similar prospect but hasn’t been postponed yet.

In a statement from the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, track bosses are already acting on Catalan health authority orders with its Ultimate Cup (March 21-22), European Le Mans Series (April 4-5) and WorldRX (April 17-19) events already postponed along with the passage of cycling event Volta a Catalunya on March 28.

The circuit has also been closed to private hires and activities until at least April 5.

But as the current restrictions don’t impact its Spanish GP dates, the circuit has confirmed it is working with F1 organisers over its options on hosting the race.

“Although these measures do not affect the staging period of the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana 2020 (8 and 10 May), Formula 1 and the FIA have announced changes in the Grand Prix calendar, and we are already analysing the different available options with Formula 1,” the statement read.

The circuit officials have also confirmed MotoGP’s Catalan round scheduled for June 5-7, which will include the return of Jorge Lorenzo as a Yamaha wildcard rider, remains unaffected.

“Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will continue monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, staying in permanent contact with the different bodies and health authorities in order to continue implementing the applicable measures and recommendations, ensuring the health and safety of our visitors,” the statement added.

“We are sorry for the inconveniences that these changes may have caused and we offer our apologies to all fans and customers that have been affected by these extraordinary measures.”

If the Spanish GP is required to change dates, it looks set to slot into F1’s traditional summer break planned in August.

F1 motorsports boss Ross Brawn has spoken of showing “tolerance” to reshape the 2020 season following the postponements, hinting at a condensed schedule to fit in the effected races.

“We have plans to rebuild the season and try and accommodate as many of the lost races as we can,” Brawn said.

“I think people have to show some tolerance now in terms of how we build the season, for the rest of the year. I think the team is in the right place to realise that is necessary.”

MotoGP has already shaped a highly concentrated 2020 race calendar following its own postponements which are in place until the start of May, with its new schedule putting on eight races in the space of 10 weeks between the end of September and the end of November.

 

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