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Coronavirus: Formula One aiming to stage 15-18 races in 2020 season

By Rob Lancaster
Chase Carey

London, March 24: The 2020 Formula One season could include between 15 and 18 races in a revised calendar that will likely run into December, according to Chase Carey.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, F1 has been forced to delay the start to the new campaign, Azerbaijan becoming the latest Grand Prix to be postponed on Monday (March 23).

The season-opener in Australia, due to take place on March 15, and the Monaco event have both been cancelled, with the next race on the original schedule due to take place in Canada on June 14.

In a statement, F1 chairman and CEO Carey did not reveal an update over a potential start date but made clear the 10 teams and the FIA remain "committed" to delivering a championship, aided by the usual mid-season break being shifted forward to March and April.

As well as Azerbaijan, postponed races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain could get new dates, though much depends on developments with the ongoing global pandemic.

"We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races, Carey said.

"As previously announced, we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April, to race during the normal summer break period and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29 November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.

"It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month."

In the absence of the usual racing calendar, F1 launched the Virtual Grand Prix Series on Sunday (March 22).

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne represented Williams but finished last among the drivers to complete the Bahrain leg - won by Renault test driver Guanyu Zhou - of the Esports tournament.

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Story first published: Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 1:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 24, 2020
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