In a statement released just after the French Grand Prix, scheduled for June 27, said it would not run in 2020, Formula One chief Chase Carey said he hopes to restart by July. "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 July 3-5 weekend," he said.
"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."
Carey said the calendar had yet to be finalized and it was expected initial races would take place behind closed doors. But with income slashed and the smaller teams desperate for revenue, that is considered a necessary step to ensure survival.
All 10 teams flew to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15 but that was postponed at short-notice and racing has not yet been able to resume. "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," said Carey.
"We also want to recognize 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." Carey did not provide details to the provisional new calendar such as whether double races, mooted in Austria and Britain, would be considered. However, a delay to the current season end – currently Nov. 29 in Abu Dhabi – was essentially confirmed.
On Monday the Silverstone circuit confirmed the British Grand Prix would run without fans if it is possible to race at all on July 19. "It is clear given the current conditions in the country and the Government requirements in place now and for the foreseeable future, that we are unable to stage this year's British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone," the track said in a statement. "Our obligations to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event, our volunteer marshals and Race Makers, and of course, you, the amazing fans, means that this is the best, safest and only decision we could make."
The French race, in contrast, "will not go ahead in 2020," organizers said as it became the 10th race of the season to be postponed or canceled. "Given the evolution of the situation linked to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the French Grand Prix takes note of the decisions announced by the French State making it impossible to maintain our event," race chief Eric Boullier said in a statement. The blue riband Monaco Grand Prix will not take place this year but other events from the opening months of the season could yet take place in a shuffled calendar.
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