Mugello has become the latest circuit to offer to host a replacement race for the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix, intending to lodge an official application with the FIA next week.
With the race in Shanghai’s cancellation due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, the FIA has a month-long gap in the Formula 1 calendar, one that like its sibling Imola, the Tuscan circuit intends to fill.
“We have proposed to replace the Chinese GP. The circuit meets all the required standards and on March 1st we will present the official candidature,” said Federico Ignesti, mayor of the nearby municipality of Scarperia and San Piero. “The ownership of the circuit is making preparatory investments for an entry in the Formula 1 calendar in the coming years”.
Owned by Ferrari, the track has seen occasional use as a testing venue and plays yearly host to MotoGP, but has never held a race higher than Formula 2 on four wheels.
For Ignesti, the character and importance of the track makes it a logical choice should F1 agree to a substitute race.
“[Mark] Webber said that one lap at Mugello is worth ten at Abu Dhabi. The Schumacher epic in Ferrari was born on this very circuit. Raikkonen’s world championship is also linked to the Tuscan track. The good luck is not only for the Mugello circuit, but for the whole of Italy to have two Formula 1 Grand Prix”.
However, a race at Mugello would not come without coronavirus concerns of its own. 322 cases of the virus have been reported in northern Italy, with 11 confirmed deaths.