The 2020 Formula One World Championship was set to host a record 22 rounds but then the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic came and threw a spanner in the works.
The start of the season was postponed to July and organizers needed to reshuffle things in order to get the most rounds possible before the year is out. On Tuesday, the organizers announced four more rounds were added to the calendar, bringing the total to 17.
The new rounds include the return of the Turkish Grand Prix, as well as the Bahrain Grand Prix, a new Sakhir Grand Prix to also be held in Bahrain, and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Sadly, all American rounds originally planned for 2020—the United States, Mexican, Canadian and Brazilian grands prix—have been scrapped due to the higher number of coronavirus cases in the Americas and the resulting stricter restrictions on travel and hosting of events.
Organizers also announced Tuesday that the Chinese Grand Prix won’t be postponed as previously planned. The round has instead been canceled.
In place of these rounds, the organizers have added new rounds like the Sakhir Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, as well as the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany to be held at the Nürburgring’s grand prix track, the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix to be held at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, and the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to be held at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy.
The first eight rounds of the revised 2020 calendar were confirmed in early June. In July, the organizers added the Tuscan and Russian grands prix to the list, to be held at the Mugello and Sochi circuits, respectively. Italy’s Mugello is owned by Ferrari and has never hosted an F1 race. The special round at Mugello this year will coincide with Ferrari’s 1,000th grand prix.
The revised 2020 season kicked off on July 5 with the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg, Austria. A second round in Austria, the Styrian Grand Prix, was held on July 12. The same doubleheader-style schedule took place in August with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, United Kingdom, on Aug. 2 and then a special 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone on Aug. 9. The special race marked this year’s 70th anniversary of the hosting of the first F1 race, which also took place at Silverstone. A third and final doubleheader-style schedule will take place near the end of the year in Bahrain.
The dates for the 17 confirmed rounds of the revised 2020 F1 calendar are as follows:
July 5 – Austrian Grand Prix – Spielberg, Austria
July 12 – Styrian Grand Prix – Spielberg, Austria
July 19 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Budapest, Hungary
August 2 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone, United Kingdom
August 9 – 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Silverstone, United Kingdom
August 16 – Spanish Grand Prix – Barcelona, Spain
August 30 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
September 6 – Italian Grand Prix – Monza, Italy
September 13 – Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello, Italy
September 27 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi, Russia
October 11 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nürburgring, Germany
October 25 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Portimao, Portugal
November 1 – Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – Imola, Italy
November 15 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul, Turkey
November 29 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Sakhir, Bahrain
December 6 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Sakhir, Bahrain
December 13 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi