Rumored 2020 F1 calendar includes Spa, Hungary (Update)

Can Spa really happen?
Can Spa really happen?

UPDATE (GMM) Spa-Francorchamps is waiting for the "green light from the government" to push ahead with plans for a 2020 Belgian GP.

The famous circuit has a August 30 date on the original 2020 calendar – but the Belgian government has banned mass events until the 31st.

Race promoter Vanessa Maes told RTBF that Spa is "still awaiting the green light from the government to organize the grand prix on Sunday, August 30 without an audience".

"Everyone is well aware that each organizer is dependent on their government," she added.

Some are skeptical of F1's 'ghost race' plan, but Alpha Tauri driver Daniil Kvyat says he would be happy to take part even though the absence of spectators will make the races "strange".

"The main thing is that we can race," the Russian told Sport-Express.

"If it means we have to wear masks and not have any contact – no problem. Especially not having contact," Kvyat laughed.

"It is important to race. It will be strange without spectators obviously, but I think that will make it safer for everyone. If that is what is necessary to race, then we should."

05/01/20 (GMM) Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Hanoi, Baku and other Formula 1 host venues have now emerged on a draft 19-race 2020 calendar set to begin in July.

According to sources, the calendar was sent to certain members of the media by an unnamed F1 team.

It follows earlier news that Spa and Monza may in fact be excluded from the racing if it gets underway this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Yes, it is still quite possible to have a Belgian GP," race promoter Spa Grand Prix president Melchior Wathelet confirmed to RTBF.

"The date is still free and Belgium is a candidate for the organisation of its event."

As well as 'double races' in Austria, Britain and even Bahrain later in the year, the calendar includes Barcelona, China and Hanoi – but not Zandvoort or Singapore.

Italian automobile club president Angelo Sticchi Damiani told Formula Passion that Italy might also host a second race in addition to Monza.

"Personally I would be pleased if we could consider the Imola and Mugello circuits for a possible second Formula 1 race," he said.

Officials in Azerbaijan, meanwhile, hit back at earlier claims that the Baku street race will definitely not go ahead.

"The information put out by media outlets on this issue is not true, as Formula 1 has not yet announced a new race calendar," a spokesman told Trend news agency.

A race in Hungary may be able to dodge the country's new events ban until mid-August by hosting its round later in that month. The new provisional calendar pencils in an August 23 race date for Budapest.

Still, there are those who are opposed to F1's push to get back up and racing.

"It seems absolutely incredible to me that in the current situation, with the pandemic still raging, one series can be so optimistic by saying that the season can start in July," Finnish broadcaster Niki Juusela told C More.

"It feels as though there is now pressure to make some kind of plan, and that the importance of this is greater than realism itself."

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