FOM’s effots to expand the 2020 Formula 1 will see the announcement of at least one new race tomorrow, Grand Prix 247 has learned.
At this stage F1 CEO Chase Carey has ten races confirmed with more four potential dates in the Middle East at the end of the year, one less than the previously-stated 15-race minimum.
However with the Chinese Grand Prix on the verge of being cancelled, the Vietnam Grand Prix to follow soon after, and the difficult situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in the Americas, the solution tabled is to schedule more races in Europe to reach that magic number.
Hockenheim was in line to have a race this year, but circuit management announced on Thursday that it couldn’t reach an agreement with FOM, and Formula 1 is now heading to the Nurburgring, a circuit that hasn’t staged a GP since 2013.
Imola – which was inspected by FIA race director Michael Masi this week – is another circuit that will be added to this year’s calendar, with a September 20 date marking the first time F1 has raced there since 2006.
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve is also set join, with its first-ever F1 race at the circuit. The Portuguese track previously staged two F1 test sessions at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009.
The Portuguese Grand Prix was held for the last time in 1996 at Autodromo do Estoril, a race won by Damon Hill.
With these additions, and with the all-but-confirmed Middle East races, FOM has fifteen potential events – seventeen, if Bahrain and Abu Dhabi stage two events each, which is something that is under discussion.
In any case, expect these at least one of the new races to be made public tomorrow, if not all three, as F1 and FOM’s complete picture for the 2020 season starts to come into focus.