F1 hoping to announce ‘next chunk’ of 2020 calendar dates in 'next few weeks' says Carey
The delayed 2020 F1 season finally revs into action this weekend, with the first of two successive races in Austria that form the opening salvo of an initial eight races on the calendar so far. Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey has always maintained F1 had a target of staging 15-18 races before the year is out, and speaking in Spielberg said fans can expect the next ‘chunk’ of Grands Prix to be announced in coming weeks – even if he stopped short of confirming exact destinations.
“I think in the next few weeks we will look to land, certainly at least another chunk of the calendar, ideally we’d like to land the whole second half of the calendar," said Carey.
"There are a number of races we already know will be on the calendar. I don’t want to get into piecemeal addressing it, I’d like to address it holistically. But to lock the dates in we really need to figure out what other races will be on it.
“We’ve said 15-18 races and we still feel comfortable with that as a target. Right now we have a number of races we have essentially agreed with, we just haven’t firmed the date up. And a number of places we are moving forward with, trying to firm a date up. We have a few that are much more up in the air based in circumstances in that country.”
We’d like to have fans at our races. It’s a possibility
Carey admits the most fluid part of the calendar relates to races in the Americas.
“When you look at the US, Mexico, Brazil, clearly right now they seem to be having a higher incidence of infections than other places,” said Carey. “So [we’re] trying to get guidance from these places on what’s possible, what we can do.
“Really we need to know, can we race in a location? Will there be restrictions on our ability to get in and out a location in a functioning way? And to some degree we’re trying to address the fan question. We’d like to have fans at our races. It’s a possibility.
“One of the challenges of looking at a calendar in November is November is four months away. You’re less than four months into the virus, so trying to look forward to where you’ll be in November I understand is hard for everybody. But ultimately we need to plan ahead. So there’s a point in time when we have to just put a stake in the ground and make decisions on what we know. I think that’s soon.”