Sporting events have been one of the hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic and unfortunately for petrol heads, this included the F1 season which was meant to start on Sunday 15th March in Australia but was since postponed.
Thankfully, there is now light at the end of the tunnel as Formula 1 CEO, Chase Carey, has announced that there could be between 15 and 18 races to come of the season, and also the plans are in place to kick off the season on July 5th in Austria at The Red Bull Ring.
Carey also confirmed that the races will be held across the various different continents starting with Europe, then moving into Asia, followed by the America’s and finishing in the Middle East. He also confirmed that sadly, the French Grand Prix would not be part of these races as it was so recently cancelled.
Firstly, it is worth noting that this proposed new calendar is only provisional at this point but it is still good news for F1 fans. The European rounds of this proposed new calendar would take place initially behind closed doors in July, August and September. The season would then finish in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December – it has not yet been announced whether these dates will take place behind closed doors or not at this stage.
“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.”
Chase Carey has been discussing the rejigged season heavily with all 10x F1 teams as well as the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) in order to ensure the sport was safe to go ahead amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Carey has announced that while the first races won’t have fans in the stands – F1 will be monitoring lockdown lifting procedures in every single race country and hopes to reopen to fans as soon as possible.