Formula One has announced that the German, Portuguese and San Marino Grands Prix will all return in October as part of a rearranged calendar due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Nürburgring, Portimao and Imola will all host races which replaces the Japanese, US and Mexican Grands Prix respectively, bringing the rearranged 2020 calendar up to 13 races.
F1 also confirmed that the Canada, US , Mexican and Brazilian races have all been cancelled for this year, as the American continents continue to struggle with Coronavirus.
Having initially lost its place on the 2020 calendar to Vietnam, the German Grand Prix will return across 9-11 October but held at the Nürburgring for the first time since 2013 rather than Hockenheimring of recent seasons.
Portugal then makes its return to the calendar for the first time since 1996 with F1 set to go racing around the Algarve International Circuit on 23-25 October.
Imola follows seven days later across the weekend of 31 October – 1 November in a shortened two day event, as the San Marino GP returns following a 13 season absence since 2009.
Imola’s weekend format is yet to be agreed although it is widely believed that only one practice session will be held with Qualifying and Race staying in traditional Saturday and Sunday afternoon slots.
2020 Russian GP will take place as currently scheduled across 25-27 September in Sochi.
Speaking of the decision to add further European races to the 2020 calendar, F1 Chairman and CEO – Chase Carey said “We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalising our plans for the 2020 season and are excited to welcome Nürburgring, Portimao and Imola to the revised calendar,”
Carey also spoke of F1’s “incredible partners” in the American continents and admitted that he is excited to welcome them back to the calendar next season.
Will F2 and F3 Attend as Support Races?
Formula Two haven’t yet committed to these additional rounds due to a 12 round limit, plus organisers will be keen to add Bahrain and Abu Dhabi rounds once confirmed to complete their calendar and skip the Russian GP if confirmed alongside these races.
Formula Three has a nine round limit due to the Macau GP in late November and will therefore no longer support F2 and F1 beyond Mugello in mid September, consequently playing no part in these additional races.
‘prudent but painful’
Circuit of the Americas Chairman, Bobby Epstein released the following statement on the US GP cancellation, saying; “The cancellation is prudent but painful. After a sold out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up nearly 250 percent over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever.
“I’m disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, our community and everyone in the Formula One Paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful tradition.
“It is my hope that the pandemic will soon pass and we will celebrate 2021 with the greatest Formula One United States Grand Prix ever!”
Mexican GP Organisers also released a statement in which they confirmed that the Mexican GP cancellation came about following discussions with Mexico Government, F1 and FIA although tickets brought for October will still be valid for the 2021 race.