By Staff writer
CEO Chase Carey has said the F1 championship will start in July, likely without fans
The rearranged Formula 1 racing calendar for 2020 will climax in the Gulf region with events in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, according to CEO Chase Carey.
On Monday it was announced that the French Grand Prix would become the tenth leg of the 2020 championship to either be scrapped (Australia, Monaco and France) or postponed (Bahrain, China, Vietnam, Netherlands, Spain, Azerbaijan and Canada).
Carey said in a statement that plans were to get racing underway in Austria on July 3-5 and carry on through to the season finale in Bahrain and the UAE in December.
“September, October and November, would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races,” he said.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, traditionally the second event of the F1 season, was scheduled to take place on March 22, but was rescheduled to December in light of Covid-19 containment measures and increased concerns over health and safety as the virus spread across the world.
Chase revealed that early races will take place without fans and UK circuit Silverstone confirmed on its Twitter account that the British Grand Prix, scheduled to take place on July 19, would only go ahead behind closed doors.
"I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year's British Grand Prix in front of the fans at Silverstone," Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said in a statement on Silverstone's Twitter account.
"We have left this difficult decision for as long as possible, but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions... that a grand prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible."
It is hoped that fans can return as the season progresses.
Carey added: “We still have to work out many issues like the procedures for the teams and our other partners to enter and operate in each country.
“The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority one and we will only go forward if we are confident we have reliable procedures to address both risks and possible issues.”