The remainder of the 2020 F1 World Championship calendar will be confirmed in the next few weeks but while the original target of 15-18 races remains realistic the ongoing situation in the Americas could scupper it.

On the weekend F1 returns to racing action with the Austrian Grand Prix – almost four months after the original opener was axed in Australia by the unfolding coronavirus situation – F1 CEO Chase Carey assured discussions over the remainder of the season are progressing well.

As it stands, only eight rounds across six venues have been confirmed up to September, but while more events have been agreed in principle Carey said he’d rather get everything in place before going public with the details.

“I think in the next few weeks we will look to land, certainly at least another chunk of the calendar, ideally we’d like to land the whole second half of the calendar," Carey told the official F1.com site

"There are a number of races we already know will be on the calendar. I don’t want to get into piecemeal addressing it, I’d like to address it holistically. But to lock the dates in we really need to figure out what other races will be on it.

“We’ve said 15-18 races and we still feel comfortable with that as a target. Right now we have a number of races we have essentially agreed with, we just haven’t firmed the date up. And a number of places we are moving forward with, trying to firm a date up. We have a few that are much more up in the air based in circumstances in that country.”

F1’s biggest challenge appears to be final portion of the season centred around the Americas – Brazil, Mexico and USA – where the coronavirus pandemic continues to be rife.

Beyond tyhat though, Carey says there is still a motivation to ensure visitors are able to attend.

“When you look at the US, Mexico, Brazil, clearly right now they seem to be having a higher incidence of infections than other places,” said Carey. “So [we’re] trying to get guidance from these places on what’s possible, what we can do.

“Really we need to know, can we race in a location? Will there be restrictions on our ability to get in and out a location in a functioning way? And to some degree we’re trying to address the fan question. We’d like to have fans at our races. It’s a possibility.

“One of the challenges of looking at a calendar in November is November is four months away. You’re less than four months into the virus, so trying to look forward to where you’ll be in November I understand is hard for everybody. But ultimately we need to plan ahead. So there’s a point in time when we have to just put a stake in the ground and make decisions on what we know. I think that’s soon.”

 

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