Formula 1 chief Chase Carey has issued an update on the revised 2020 race calendar as the sport aims to put on 15 to 18 races starting “at some point during this summer” after the coronavirus crisis passes.

All major sport has been postponed indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, with F1 seeing its 2020 opening round cancelled just two hours before first practice after a McLaren team member test positive for COVID-19 in Australia.

The opening eight races have all been postponed or cancelled, making the Canadian Grand Prix the provisional first round on June 14, but it remains under serious doubt amid the coronavirus measures on travel bans and global health measures.

Since cancelling the Australian Grand Prix and altering the 2020 calendar to see the summer break pushed forward to March and April, F1 bosses have been aiming to reschedule the entire season.

F1 Chairman and CEO Carey says that remains the situation, with a new 2020 race calendar taking shape, but it is not ready to be announced yet.

“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,” Carey said.

“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 27-29th 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.”

F1 has also postponed its regulations overhaul, minus the cost cap, until 2022 meaning the current specification of cars will stay largely unchanged for 2021.

The sport has also been given backing from its governing body, the FIA, to continue to reshape the season, with Carey hinting at experimental race weekends. This could range from two-day race weekends to fit in more rounds into the end of 2020 to double-header weekends.

“This flexibility offers an opportunity to evolve the sport, experiment and try new things,” he explained.

“That may include initiatives such as expanding our Esports platform, developing more innovative content like Netflix Drive to Survive and other creative ways.”

Carey says F1 will continue to focus on returning to action at the earliest opportunity but only when it is advised by health officials.

“Between Formula 1, the teams and the FIA, working with our key stakeholders, we are planning and fully committed to returning to the track at the earliest opportunity to commence the 2020 season,” he said.

“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.”

 

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