Coronavirus: when will motorsport resume in 2020?

Coronavirus has caused sporting events around the world to be postponed and cancelled, with Formula 1, Formula E and MotoGP among them

Coronavirus: when will motorsport resume in 2020?

Other series have also paused races in response to coronavirus, as large public gatherings will inevitably increase the risk of transmission between hosts.

As situations react to the ever-changing effect that the COVID-19 virus will inevitably have over the motorsport world, this story will be updated with cancellations and postponements should any more be forthcoming.

When will the 2020 Formula 1 season begin?

At this stage, it is currently unknown when the definitive first race of the 2020 F1 season will be.

As the coronavirus outbreak is commonly regarded to have originated in the city of Wuhan, the Chinese Grand Prix was swiftly postponed in the interests of public health.

The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled on the Friday of its race weekend, after a McLaren team member had tested positive for coronavirus.

Seven further members of the F1 paddock were also tested, but their results were found to be negative.

Australian Grand Prix Commission chairman Andrew Westacott has suggested that, despite the official cancellation, the race could be rescheduled for later in the year.

The Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix were also postponed in the wake of the escalating coronavirus pandemic, and the Dutch and Spanish GPs were also put on hold the following week - as Monaco was completely cancelled for 2020.

With the pandemic showing few signs of abating, the Azerbaijan and Canadian grands prix were also postponed, while the French GP was formally cancelled as organisers stated they were looking towards 2021.

As Austria seeks to scale down its lockdown, the nation's grand prix is being considered as the season opener, as Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has suggested that the Red Bull Ring could host back-to-back races.

The British Grand Prix, if it can still hold a race, will do so behind closed doors.

Confirmed postponements:

Bahrain Grand Prix - Sakhir - 22 March
Vietnam Grand Prix - Hanoi - 5 April
Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai - 19 April
Dutch Grand Prix - Zandvoort - 3 May
Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona - 10 May
Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Baku - 7 June
Canadian Grand Prix - Montreal - 14 June

Confirmed cancellations:

Australian Grand Prix - Melbourne - 15 March
Monaco Grand Prix
- Monte-Carlo - 24 May
French Grand Prix - Paul Ricard - 28 June

These postponements also affect the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships, which are on F1's support bill. Bahrain was due to be the first round for both categories, but F2 and F3, may not even begin until July, with the current first round scheduled to be on the Austrian Grand Prix weekend following Baku's cancellation.

When will the 2020 MotoGP season begin?

Dorna Sports and the FIM have arguably been the most proactive motorsport bodies during this difficult period, with constant communication flowing out of both camps as to MotoGP's current situation.

A week before the Qatar season opener, tightened quarantine restrictions on Italian travellers - which is a vast majority of the paddock - led Dorna no choice but to scrap the Qatar race, despite its hopes to get all needed to start the race into the country on a charter flight from Nice.

As more countries reacted to COVID-19, MotoGP's second, third and fourth rounds in Thailand, America and Argentina were all postponed.

MotoGP has already found slots for these races, except Qatar, which won't appear this year owing to the Losail circuit undergoing essential track works in the coming months.

The back-end of the calendar is now incredibly congested as a result, with eight races in 10 weeks. There is a risk this could put too much strain on the paddock.

It was hoped the season would get underway on May 3 at Jerez in Spain, but that - as well as the following French, Italian and Catalan Grands Prix - has been postponed.

No new calendars have been issued due to the ever-changing nature of this virus outbreak.

Recently, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said he'd be "delighted" with a 10-race championship in 2020 - though Ducati warned that finding 10 countries able to host races could prove difficult.

The German GP was postponed after Germany banned large public gatherings until the end of August, and the Dutch TT followed suit after the Netherlands put the same rule in place.

As the KymiRing still requires homologation, the Finnish Grand Prix's return was put on ice too - meaning the season will start no earlier than August's race at Brno.

Updated 2020 MotoGP Calendar:

Czech Grand Prix - August 9
Austrian Grand Prix - August 16
British Grand Prix - August 30
San Marino Grand Prix - September 13
Aragon Grand Prix - September 27
Thailand Grand Prix - October 4
Japanese Grand Prix - October 18
Australian Grand Prix - October 25
Malaysian Grand Prix - November 1
Americas Grand Prix - November 15
Argentine Grand Prix - November 22
Valencia Grand Prix - November 29

When will the 2019-20 Formula E season resume?

As it stands, the Formula E season has been paused for two months amid the ensuring coronavirus crisis.

The Sanya E-Prix was first to be postponed at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, followed by the Rome E-Prix after the spread intensified dramatically in northern Italy - meaning the country is on lockdown.

After Formula E's latest annoucement, the race in Paris, along with calendar newcomers Seoul and Jakarta, have also been postponed until further notice.

The next E-Prix was scheduled to be the race at Berlin's Tempelhof airport, but the ban of large public gatherings in Germany is expected to wipe that out.

The London E-Prix could change venue or date, as the current ExCeL venue expected to make its debut appearance on the calendar is currently being used as a makeshift hospital for those suffering with coronavirus.

Confirmed postponements:

Sanya E-Prix - China - March 21 - postponed
Rome E-Prix - Italy - April 4 - postponed
Paris E-Prix - France - April 18 - postponed
Seoul E-Prix - South Korea - May 3 - postponed
Jakarta E-Prix - Indonesia - June 6 - postponed

When will the 2019-20 World Endurance Championship season resume?

Following the cancellation of the Sebring 1000 Miles and the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps races, the World Endurance Championship has just one event left on the calendar: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which has been postponed until September.

The event will run without an official test day for the first time since 2010, but the status of the new-for-2020 'Hyperpole' qualifying session has yet to be clarified.

The WEC has since abandoned its winter series format and rescheduled events to maintain its current eight-round 2019/20 campaign.

Because the start to the 2020/21 season has been abandoned, the introduction of the hypercar class has also been delayed to 2021.

Revised 2019/20 WEC calendar

September 1 2019 - Silverstone

October 6 2019 - Fuji

November 10 2019 - Shanghai

December 14 2019 - Bahrain

February 23 2020 - Austin

August 15 2020 - Spa

September 19/20 - Le Mans

November 21 - Bahrain

The first two rounds of the ACO-controlled European Le Mans Series at Barcelona and Monza have also been cancelled, with the series set to commence at Paul Ricard on July 19, pending further adjustments to the schedule.

Meanwhile, the IMSA Sportscar Championship round is set to resume at Detroit on May 30, after the postponement of the Sebring 12 Hours and Mid-Ohio rounds, while Long Beach was officially cancelled.

Sebring will now close the season on November, with Mid-Ohio moving to September 27 - the same date as the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

When will the World Rally Championship resume?

The World Rally Championship has so far gone off without any interference from Coronavirus, with its opening Monte Carlo event in January, February's Rally Sweden and this weekend's Rally Mexico coming just at the right time - though six-time WRC champion Sebastien Ogier has objected to competing in Mexico given the events unfolding around the world.

However, WRC couldn't escape the coronavirus-forced cancellations forever, as the final day of Rally Mexico was stopped to help people working in the paddock return home prior to travel restrictions.

The fifth round in Argentina originally slated for the end of April was also put on hold after the country put a temporary ban on international sporting events.

With rounds in Portugal and Sardinia following suit, the series is now looking at a layoff of several months following the conclusion of the Mexico event.

Confirmed postponements:

Rally Argentina - April 30-May 1

Rally Portugal - May 21-24

Rally Sardinia - June 4-7

Elsewhere in the rallying world, the first two World Rallycross rounds at Barcelona and Montalegre in Portugal have been postponed, as has the Belgian round. The Titans Rallycross Europe series season is also on hold, and won't make a planned trip to Canada this year in order to free up space for postponed rounds.

What is happening with NASCAR?

NASCAR tried desperately to continue its current season as planned by staging this weekend's Atlanta race and next weekend's Homestead-Miami event behind closed doors.

But, as the United States government finally declared COVID-19 a national emergency, these plans have been scuppered. It had since decided to postpone all races through to 3 May, but this was pushed back further as the Martinsville round that month was postponed.

NASCAR's flagship Cup Series is scheduled to conclude on the weekend of November 8 with its play-offs finale at Phoenix.

Confirmed postponements:

Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 - Atlanta Motor Speedway - March 15
Dixie Vodka 400 -
Homestead-Miami Speedway - March 22
O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 -
Texas Motor Speedway - March 29
Ford City 500 -
Bristol Motor Speedway - April 5
Toyota Owners 400 -
Richmond Raceway - April 19
Geico 500 -
Talladega Superspeedway - April 26
NASCAR Cup Series Rac at Dover -
Dover International Speedway - May 3

When will IndyCar resume?

The 2020 IndyCar season won't be getting underway until at least May, after the series called off its first four events in St Petersburg, Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama, Long Beach and the Circuit of the Americas.

There was hope the season-opening round in St Petersburg would get underway, after it was initially announced that it would take place behind closed doors, while track action for IndyCar would be restricted to just Saturday and Sunday.

IndyCar also announced that the Indy 500 would be postponed until August 23, with the race on the Indianapolis road course would be placed on July 4, with a number of other rounds shuffled around to suit it.

St. Petersburg's promoters are also aiming to keep the race on the calendar as a season finale.

Confirmed cancellations:

St. Petersburg - March 15
Barber Motorsport Park - April 5
Long Beach - April 19
Circuit of the Americas - April 26
Indianapolis road course - May 9
Indy 500 - May 24
Detroit - May 30

How will coronavirus affect other international events?

The DTM has issued a heavily revised calendar for its 2020 season, which is due to start in July and run through to November - with Monza the new scene of the season finale.

The series had already cancelled its pre-season test, which was set to take place in Monza before it was moved to Germany as Italy faced a nationwide lockdown, and would not be open to spectators.

However, the reshuffled races at Norisring and Zolder were put into further doubt by the extension of lockdown measures in Germany and Belgium.

Revised 2020 DTM calendar

10-12 July - Norisring
31 July-2 August - Igora Drive/Anderstorp Raceway
7-9 August - Zolder
22-23 August - Brands Hatch
4-6 September - Assen
11-13 September - Nurubrgring
2-4 October - Igora Drive/Anderstorp Raceway
16-18 October - Lausitzring
6-8 November - Hockenheim
13-15 November - Monza

The World Touring Car Cup has cancelled its opening round at the Hungaroring, due to take place on the April 24-26, as Hungarian government measures banned gatherings of more than 500 people until further notice.

In Japan, the Super Formula season opener due to take place at Suzuka on 4 April was also postponed, as was the second round at Fuji, while the SUPER GT series organisers have had to postpone the season opener on April 11-12 at Okayama.

Both major international motorcycle road races - the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200 in Northern Ireland - have been cancelled.

It is the first time since 2001 - during the foot and mouth disease outbreak - that the TT and NW200 will not go ahead.

Although NW200 organisers issued an update last week insisting that the race would go ahead, the worsening coronavirus situation has prompted a rethink.

Supercars was another category directly affected by the Australian GP cancellation, with the Albert Park circuit supposed to have hosted the second points-paying round of the season.

Unlike Formula 1 there had even been competitive track action, Triple Eight drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup securing two of the four pole positions that were to be on offer.

However, all further rounds have been postponed until June, when the series hopes to start running again.

Has the British Touring Car Championship been cancelled?

During the British Touring Car Championship media day at Silverstone - from which spectators were banned following the latest government directive advising against 'non-essential social contact' - series organiser TOCA released a statement on Tuesday confirming that it would postpone its first three rounds of the season.

The season was slated to get underway at Donington Park on March 28-29, but this meeting and subsequent rounds at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 11-12 and Silverstone National Circuit on April 25-26 have all lost their place on the calendar.

TOCA will attempt to reschedule them for later in the season to bring the calendar back up to its intended 10 events and 30 races.

Like Formula 1, the BTCC has a summer break, in its case from mid June to late July, while there is a further four-week gap free of racing prior to the penultimate round at the end of September.

The season is now scheduled to kick off at Thruxton over the weekend of 16-17 May.

How will coronavirus affect national racing?

Shortly after TOCA's announcement, Motorsport UK followed suit with its communication that no events sanctioned by the UK governing body would take place until May, although this has been extended to the end of June following the latest government communications.

The club circuit racing season was due to begin with two events at Silverstone this weekend but governing body Motorsport UK says these, and all events for the rest of March and April, will no longer take place as planned.

Motorsport UK has been in direct contact with the UK government in recent days about the impact of the escalating health crisis on running motorsport events, and the decision follows the latest government directive that includes social-distancing measures and discourages all but essential travel.

Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision, which operates a number of circuits within the UK, has ensured that tickets bought for any postponed events will also be available for the rescheduled dates.

British GT championship manager Lauren Granville told Autosport that the SRO-run series is looking into alternative dates for its first two rounds, the Easter Monday weekend at Oulton Park on April 11/13 as well as the Snetterton round in May.

"Ultimately, we fully expect this year's season to feature seven rounds, as per the current calendar," she said.

The British Rally Championship had already cancelled its Tendring and Clacton round on April 25-26, which takes place on public roads.

F1 News: 2020 British GP will be held without fans if it goes ahead

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