Carey: 15-18 races is still the target

Chase Carey

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey maintains his intention is still to hold 15-18 races in the 2020 season, but admits the fate of some events is still uncertain.

Stopped from running its original 22-race scheduled by the COVID-19 pandemic, F1 has made no secret of trying to include as many races as possible on its amended calendar.

So far only eight races have confirmed calendar slots, and yet while Carey says that more will soon follow, he also cautions that some destinations remain “up in the air”.

“I think in the next few weeks we will look to land, certainly at least another chunk of the calendar, ideally we’d like to land the whole second half of the calendar,” he told the official F1 website.

“There are a number of races we already know will be on the calendar. I don’t want to get into piecemeal addressing it, I’d like to address it holistically. But to lock the dates in we really need to figure out what other races will be on it.

“We’ve said 15-18 races and we still feel comfortable with that as a target. Right now we have a number of races we have essentially agreed with, we just haven’t firmed the date up. And a number of places we are moving forward with, trying to firm a date up.

“We have a few that are much more up in the air based in circumstances in that country.”

In particular, the USA, Mexico and Brazil all continue to be hard-hit by the coronavirus, which Carey acknowledges is complicating their late-season schedule arrangements.

“When you look at the US, Mexico, Brazil, clearly right now they seem to be having a higher incidence of infections than other places,” he said. “So [we’re] trying to get guidance from these places on what’s possible, what we can do.

“Really we need to know, can we race in a location? Will there be restrictions on our ability to get in and out a location in a functioning way? And to some degree we’re trying to address the fan question. We’d like to have fans at our races. It’s a possibility.

“One of the challenges of looking at a calendar in November is November is four months away. You’re less than four months into the virus, so trying to look forward to where you’ll be in November I understand is hard for everybody. But ultimately we need to plan ahead. So there’s a point in time when we have to just put a stake in the ground and make decisions on what we know. I think that’s soon.”