Formula 1 boss Chase Carey says the sport is targeting a calendar of 15 to 18 races for the 2020 campaign, and expects to extend the season beyond its current November finale.
The outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus has caused substantial disruption worldwide, with Formula 1’s schedule among the affected events.
Six of the opening eight rounds have been postponed while Australia and Monaco have been cancelled in their entirety.
In a statement issued on Monday Carey provided an update on the situation.
Carey revealed that the summer months are now being targeted as a realistic start date for the 2020 season, existing events could be rescheduled, while the final round is likely to be shifted beyond the current November date.
“Over the past week, Formula 1, the ten F1 teams and the FIA have come together and taken rapid, decisive action as part of our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carey.
“While at present no-one can be certain of exactly when the situation will improve, it will improve and when it does, we will be ready to go racing again.
“We are all committed to bringing our fans a 2020 Championship Season.
“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.
“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 – 29th 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.
“This flexibility offers an opportunity to evolve the sport, experiment and try new things. That may include initiatives such as expanding our esports platform, developing more innovative content like Netflix’s Drive to Survive and other creative ways to drive ongoing value for the sport’s sponsor partners, broadcast partners, race promoters, teams and fans – the ecosystem of our fantastic sport.
“Between Formula 1, the teams and the FIA, working with our key stakeholders, we are planning and fully committed to returning to the track at the earliest opportunity to commence the 2020 season and will continue to take advice from health officials and experts, as our first priority continues to be the safety and health of our fans, the communities we visit and those within the Formula 1 family.
“We’re confident we’ll all get through this and see better days, ahead, and, when we do, we will ensure that everyone invested in this sport at every level feels rewarded.”