Formula 1 has confirmed the first details of its plan to get the 2020 season underway following delays caused by the coronavirus crisis.

On Monday morning the French Grand Prix became the 10th race to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with race organisers admitting it was “impossible” to stage the event this year.

It came shortly after Silverstone had confirmed that this year’s British Grand Prix will be a behind closed doors race, if it can be held at all.

Despite these announcements, in a statement issued by CEO Chase Carey, F1 said it is now “increasingly confident” with plans to stage a 2020 season.

F1 aims to resume racing with a behind closed doors race in Austria on July 3-5, with further European rounds taking place through July, August and the beginning of September.

Races in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas would be next up in September, October and November, before concluding the season in December with races in Bahrain in Abu Dhabi.

It remains determined to meet its current target of holding between 15-18 races this year.

“Although this morning it was announced that the French Grand Prix, due to take place in late June, will not be going ahead, we are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer,” the statement read.

“We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria on 3-5 July weekend. September, October and November, would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races.

“We will publish our finalised calendar as soon as we possibly can.”

F1 says it expects all early races to be staged without spectators but hopes “fans will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule”.

“We expect the early races to be without fans but hope fans will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule,” the statement continued.

“We still have to work out many issues like the procedures for the teams and our other partners to enter and operate in each country.

“The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority one and we will only go forward if we are confident we have reliable procedures to address both risks and possible issues.

“The FIA, teams, promoters, and other key partners have been working with us throughout these steps and we want to thank them for all their support and efforts during this incredibly challenging time.

“We also want to recognise the fact that the teams have been supporting us at the same time that they have been focusing enormous and heroic efforts to build ventilators to help those infected by COVID-19.”

 

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