Formula 1 intends to begin the 2020 season with July’s Austrian Grand Prix, CEO Chase Carey has confirmed, with a 15-18 race calendar still a target.
The coronavirus pandemic prompted Formula 1 to implement an indefinite delay to its 2020 campaign, with the original first round in Australia cancelled two hours before the start of the planned opening practice session.
Further events in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Azerbaijan and Canada were postponed, with Monaco and France cancelled altogether.
On Monday Carey provided his first official update in over a month, revealing that championship organisers remain confident a calendar of 15-18 races can be held.
Carey outlined that Formula 1 is now “increasingly confident” in its plan to start the 2020 in the summer. The intention is to begin with the Austrian Grand Prix on the weekend of 3-5 July, followed by events elsewhere in Europe across the rest of July, August and into September.
It is then hoped that Formula 1 can race in Eurasia, Asia and America across the remainder of September, October and November.
The championship plans to conclude with events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December.
An exact schedule beyond the 3-5 July event in Austria will be published as soon as possible, but it’s believed Silverstone will follow and each venue could host multiple races to meet that 15-18 race target.
“We expect the early races to be without fans but hope fans will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule,” said Carey.
“We still have to work out many issues like the procedures for the teams and our other partners to enter and operate in each country.
“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.
“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.
“We also want to recognise 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.”