F1 News: Provisional 2020 calendar takes shape

Formula 1 looks set to begin the season with two double-header rounds in Austria and at Silverstone, as various provisional timetables hint at 2020's condensed European leg

F1 News: Provisional 2020 calendar takes shape

Autosport has learned that teams from FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 were given a draft provisional calendar in an online meeting on Monday of this week - with all rounds in support of F1.

Meanwhile the Dutch, Canadian and Singapore GPs are all missing from another provisional version of the 2020 F1 schedule, and all three events look set to be officially cancelled at some stage.

Autosport understands that the provisional calendar kicks off with the two Austrian events at the Red Bull Ring, which Formula 1 is hoping to run on the 5 July and 12 July weekends, followed by rounds at Silverstone on the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August.

The two Silverstone rounds would be part of a triple-header of rounds and held without any fans in attendance, with the third currently set to be at the Hungaroring.

Any rounds in Hungary would also be held behind closed doors as the government has put restrictions on large gatherings.

A second triple header provisionally consisting of races at Barcelona, Spa-Francorchamps and Monza is set to span the end of August and the start of September, with F1 expecting to visit Baku and Sochi later that month.

Hockenheim is on standby as the track not on the original schedule most likely to step in if needed - and it is currently mooted as a replacement for Silverstone if no deal can be concluded with the British GP venue.

F1 looks set to end the 2020 season with rounds in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in December, with two races in Bahrain looking likely.

F1 support categories face calendar changes

Both F2 and F3 would begin their seasons on the F1 support bill, joining the premier-class series at the European rounds.

The two junior series would reunite in the Middle East in December, as F2 is expected to make the trip to Baku and Sochi with F3 in tow.

As a result, the Macau Grand Prix looks set to lose its status as an end-of-season FIA Formula 3 showcase due to the coronavirus-enforced changes.

Like last year, the F3 championship season was scheduled to finish with the Russian Grand Prix support slot in late September, giving plenty of time to prepare for the standalone non-championship Macau Grand Prix on 22 November.

But the disruption to the European season means that FIA F3 is now likely to support the Bahrain and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix on putative dates in December.

Media in Macau have already reported that this would mean that their event counts for championship points, but Autosport sources have said that this will not be the case.

FIA F3 Championship sporting regulations stipulate reversed-grid second races, which would completely jeopardise the format of Macau, and it would also prevent teams doing one-off deals with drivers from other categories.

The fact that Macau would not be the end-of-season fixture does not necessarily present any further logistical challenges to teams, as the 2019 event - the first to be run for the new FIA F3 cars - was immediately followed by the Abu Dhabi test.

This would keep the F2 schedule at the intended 12 rounds and bump F3 up from nine to 10 events - although the F3 regulations stipulate that it is a nine-round series, the inability to continue pre-season official testing is offset by the extra date.

F2 requires a minimum of 10 rounds to retain its championship status.

Based on the latest information from sources, this appears to be F1's current ideal scenario - although the 19 rounds transcends F1's expectation of 15-18 rounds.

It is possible that some rounds will be dropped to bring the calendar into that bracket, and to avoid the two quadruple headers suggested below:

Potential 2020 F1 calendar and support categories

3-5 Jul Austrian GP (F2, F3)
10-12 Jul Red Bull Ring 'II' (F2, F3)
24-26 Jul British GP/Hockenheim (F2, F3)
31 Jul-2 Aug Silverstone 'II'/Hockenheim 'II' (F2, F3)
7-9 Aug Hungarian GP (F2, F3)
21-23 Aug Spanish GP (F2, F3)
28-30 Aug Belgian GP (F2, F3)
4-6 Sept Italian GP (F2, F3)
18-20 Sept Azerbaijan GP (F2)
25-27 Sept Russian GP (F2)
2-4 Oct Chinese GP
9-11 Oct Japanese GP
23-25 Oct US GP
30 Oct-1 Nov Mexican GP
8 Nov Brazilian GP
22 Nov Vietnam GP
29 Nov Bahrain 'II'
6 Dec Bahrain GP (F2, F3)
13 Dec Abu Dhabi GP (F2, F3)

shares
comments
F1 News: Renault chief Abiteboul makes veiled dig at outgoing Ricciardo
Previous article

F1 News: Renault chief Abiteboul makes veiled dig at outgoing Ricciardo

Next article

Formula 1's great Lotus landmarks - Lotus 49

Formula 1's great Lotus landmarks - Lotus 49
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022