F1 confirms opening eight races of 2020 season
4 June 2020 - autocar
Silverstone to host a pair of races on 2 August and 9 August as part of revamped European schedule
Formula 1 bosses have revealed the opening eight rounds of the revised 2020 calendar, which will feature a pair of races at Silverstone on 2 August and 9 August.
The eight European races announced are headed by a pair of races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on 5 July 5 and 12 July. They are the first part of a planned 15-18 race schedule that will also feature events in Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.
The two races at Silverstone will be held a few weeks later than the originally planned July dates.
As well as the double-header races in Austria and the UK, the revised calendar also includes races in Hungary, Spain, Belgium and Italy.
The opening races will be closed to spectators, but F1 chairman Chase Carey said: "While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races, we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world."
F1 chiefs added that "the health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority number one," adding that "a robust and detailed plan" would help to maintain the "highest level of safety with strict procedures in place".
The publication of the revised calendar comes after F1 bosses finalised agreements with the six circuits that will host events. There had been doubts over the two races at Silverstone, due to the UK government's incoming 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from overseas, but international sports teams are set to be given exemptions if they follow key guidelines.
Notably, the calendar also confirms the names of the extra grands prix that will be held at the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone. Following the British Grand Prix, the second race at the Northamptonshire track will be called the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Silverstone hosted the first-ever F1 championship event in May 1950.
The second race at the Red Bull Ring will be the inaugural Steiermark Grand Prix, taking the German name for the Styria region of Austria in which the circuit is located.
All eight events will also host rounds of the Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships.