|Monza to end European leg|
Formula 1 has officially confirmed the first eight races for the 2020 season as it unveils its European leg of the season.
5 July – Austrian GP at Red Bull Ring
12 July – Steiermark GP at Red Bull Ring
19 July – Hungarian GP at Hungaroring
2 August – British GP at Silverstone
9 August – Formula 1 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone
16 August – Spanish GP at Barcelona
30 August – Belgian GP at Spa
6 September – Italian GP at Monza
06/02/20 (GMM) Formula 1 is now expected to publish its official 'corona calendar' of initial spectator-less races in Europe on Wednesday.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto wrote in La Gazzetta dello Sport that the fact the team factories are all now awaking from a prolonged shutdown period "is not only a sign of optimism but a significant step towards normality".
But with that initial race schedule not yet published, speculation is rampant about what the next steps for the embattled sport will be.
Brazil and Russia are hoping to run their events as per normal with fans in the grandstands, but it's not a similar story with some other overseas races.
"Mobilityland has prepared for this year's Japanese GP, but the situation in Japan and Europe is unpredictable and an extension of international travel restrictions is expected," said Kaoru Tanaka, boss of the Suzuka operator.
It is rumoured that Italian circuits Mugello or Imola could be drafted in to replace other F1 hosts who appear unlikely to be able to race in 2020, like Baku.
Italian automobile club boss Angelo Sticchi Damiani has reportedly proposed to F1 that Imola and Mugello are available.
Hockenheim has also emerged as a 2020 stand-in, with circuit boss Jorn Teske telling Bild am Sonntag: "We would have been ready to step in and were pleased that we were asked.
"But we always said that we don't want to push other races off the calendar."
The usual Italian GP is going ahead on September 6, according to Monza mayor Dario Allevi.
"While many circuits have had to give up because of the health emergency, Monza will be there – albeit behind closed doors – and Formula 1 has decided to extend the contract by one year until at least 2025," he announced.
It is even rumoured that by the time the European 'corona calendar' gets underway, some spectators may be allowed in the grandstands.
However, the Austrian opener in early July will definitely be behind closed doors.
"The safety plan we have approved is only for ghost races," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko confirmed.