Formula 1 Racing has published a newly revised calendar for the remaining races of the season on Saturday with the number of races reducing from a record 23 to 22 races due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Qatar is expected to make its debut in the Formula One schedule.
New dates were given to three races and one weekend at the end of November has been left open with Qatar likely to makes its debut Grand Prix at the Losail circuit used regularly by MotoGP. Qatar was not mentioned by Formula One but an announcement in that regard is expected soon. This new schedule was announced due to the cancellation of this month’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka for the second year in a row. Races cancelled earlier were Australia, Singapore, Canada and China. Japan’s October 10 slot will be taken over by Istanbul whose slot was on the 3rd of October.
The Mexican and Brazilian Grand Prix will also be moved back by a week, to the 7th of November and 14th of November respectively, with a new race to be announced on November 21. If Qatar gets an affirmative then that would make a Middle Eastern run to end the season with 5th December being Saudi Arabia’s first race and Abu Dhabi on 12th December.
The races will start with a European triple-header this weekend with Belgium followed by the return of the Dutch Grand Prix and then the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on successive weekends. These dates along with Russia’s race in Sochi on September 26, remain as planned. The US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas will retain its original date of the 24th of October.
Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali said, “The pandemic continues to present the season with challenges, but we have proven we can adapt, and we are confident we can deliver a record-breaking 22 races this year despite a global pandemic,” He added that saying that there have been talks with promoters and national authorities and thanked those in Mexico and Brazil for their patience and flexibility and will give the final schedule to them.