More than a month after a delayed start, the ongoing 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship season, celebrating its 70th anniversary of the first F1 season, has a full schedule implemented and established.
This season, 17 Grand Prix races will make up the overall schedule as Istanbul, Turkey; Sakhir, Bahrain; and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will conclude the season with a four-race stretch, starting in mid-November through mid-December.
For the first time since May 2011, Formula One will be returning to Intercity Istanbul Park in Turkey for the Turkish Grand Prix on November 15. Two weeks later, the sport will run a pair of races on consecutive Sundays at Sakhir’s Bahrain International Circuit on November 29 and on December 6 for the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Sakhir Grand Prix. Finally, the season will cap off at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 13.
The back-to-back races at Bahrain International Circuit marks the second time this season where a Formula One track will host two Grand Prix races at in the midst of the schedule shakeup. On August 2 and 9, F1 raced twice at the United Kingdom’s Silverstone Circuit for the British Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Formula One has been racing at Bahrain since 2004 (minus the 2011 season that was cancelled due to the Bahraini anti-government uprising/protests). The sport has also been racing at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit since 2009 and as the season finale, except from 2011 to 2013 that occurred at Brazil.
The final four-race stretch to this season and of the finalized schedule will occur two weeks after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy, which will occur on November 1. In the wake of the finalized 2020 F1 season, the sport confirmed that the Chinese Grand Prix, which was previously postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has been cancelled for this season. China joins a host of other nations/countries that includes Australia, Canada, United States of America, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, Singapore and the Netherlands that will not host a Grand Prix race this season.
“We are proud to announce that Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be part of our 2020 season,” Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula One, said. “This year has presented Formula 1 and the world with an unprecedented challenge and we want to pay tribute to everyone across Formula 1, the FIA, the teams, and our partners who have made this possible. While we are all disappointed that we have not been able to return to some of our planned races this year we are confident our season has started well and will continue to deliver plenty of excitement with traditional, as well as new, races that will entertain all our fans.”
Formula One also disclosed in a released statement that a number of races in 2020 will allow a limited number of fans in attendance while the sport continues to work with each promoter to finalize the capacity/hospitality details. In addition, F1 will continue to work with all promoters and local authorities in determining travel restrictions and health procedures to ensure the safety of all individuals due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic globally.
The 2020 Formula One season was scheduled to start in March, but it was delayed through the beginning of July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, six races of this season are complete. Following the latest Grand Prix event at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which occurred on August 16, the reigning six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton leads the drivers’ standings by 37 points over Max Verstappen and 43 over teammate Valtteri Bottas, all of whom are the only race winners through the first six F1 races thus far. Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, Alexander Albon and Lando Norris are among the remaining 17 competitors who trail in the drivers’ standings by 87 points or more. In addition, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team powered by Mercedes engines, the reigning eight-time drivers’ and six-time constructors’ championship team, leads the constructors’ standings by 86 points over Aston Martin Red Bull Racing powered by Honda engines, 158 over BWT Racing Point F1 Team powered by BWT Mercedes engines, 159 points over McLaren F1 Team powered by Renault engines and 160 over Scuderia Ferrari powered by Ferrari engines.
The 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship season will resume on August 30 at Stavelot’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.