Image: Wikimedia Commons / MacKrys
Image: Wikimedia Commons / MacKrys

BREAKING: Formula 1 unveils eight-race European schedule

The 2020 Formula 1 season will start in Austria on 5 July, opening a streak of eight European races to start the campaign. An F1 statement said that the championship would begin across three consecutive weekends – starting with back-to-back races in Austria before shifting to Hungary a week later.

After the first break of the calendar, the 2020 season will reconvene for back-to-back races at Silverstone on 2 August and 9 August, before heading to Belgium and Italy to round-off the opening eight events of 2020.

Plans for the remainder of the season are yet to be announced due to continued uncertainty regarding the coronavirus in many of the countries that were expected to feature on the 2020 race schedule. However, F1 bosses have insisted that a total of 15-18 races are expected to be completed before the season is concluded in December.

Events in Russia, America , Mexico, Brazil and Azerbaijan are in doubt

It is expected that the F1 campaign will be concluded with races in Bahrain on 6 December and Abu Dhabi on 13 December. Races are also expected to be held in China, Vietnam and Japan in the final weeks of the season. Events in Russia, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Azerbaijan are less likely to take place due to COVID-19.

F1 2020 Calendar: Races 1-8

3-5 July Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring)

10-12 July Steiermark Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring)

17-19 July Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring)

31 July- 2 August British Grand Prix (Silverstone)

7-9 August 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone)

14-16 August Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona)

28-30 August Belgian Grand Prix (Spa)

4-6 September Italian Grand Prix (Monza)

Reverse Grid Proposal:

Despite opposition from Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, F1 bosses have proposed the introduction of reverse grid starts at duplicate races. The proposals would see the grid for the main grand prix decided by a shorter sprint race on Saturday – rather than a qualifying session.

The proposal is unlikely to be ratified due to Mercedes’ opposition – any change to the rules requires unanimous support from across the grid.

McLaren boss Zak Brown told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It would certainly add some jeopardy and some excitement to the sport so I personally would be a fan of experimenting because we might find we go, you know what, this is actually a pretty good idea, let’s pull this forward into future use.”

Mercedes have objected to Formula 1’s reverse grid proposals

The proposals would be implemented for the second events of consecutive races in Austria and the United Kingdom. It is thought that implementing a reverse grid format would prevent follow-up races from repeating the same pattern as the first.

Mercedes have objected the proposal because they feel that a reverse grid would result in a ‘DRS train’ – a situation where the paddocks’s fastest teams would carve through the pack unopposed. Rather than creating dynamic overtaking situations, a reverse grid would see a stream of slower cars overtaken with ease, Mercedes have argued.

Brown said: “There are a variety of things we could try this year. You kind of have licence to do it differently because obviously going back to the same track twice in my memory has never happened in a season and if we end up doing this two times, mixing it up is a good idea.

“A lot of other forms of motorsport do have some form of reverse grid – it may be new to F1 but it’s not new to motorsport. And the other forms of motorsport that do it, it works quite well.”

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