Coronavirus wrecks F1 schedule: Just when will we go racing again?

13-03-2020 07:23
F1 News
Coronavirus wrecks F1 schedule: Just when will we go racing again?

The Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled. Just hours before F1 cars were due on the track, the FIA pulled the plug by putting safety first. But what does this mean for the rest of the Formula 1 season? As it stands, only the Chinese Grand Prix is postponed, with the Bahrain race taking place behind closed doors. But that can change. 

No racing until June?

Despite the warning signs, it seems as if Formula 1 did all they could to get this race on. Thousands of fans were already at Albert Park, waiting to enter. The build-up to the race was already running after the two-seater was sent out on the track. Each source could report something different, causing chaos to reign around the paddock.

During the official press moment, the question naturally arose whether the leadership already knew something about the upcoming races and when this will be announced. Formula 1 did not know anything about it yet, but Helmut Marko said something else. The consultant of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has already reported that they will only race again in June.

Major consequences for Formula 1

This has major consequences for the Formula 1 calendar, as it means that the Grands Prix of Bahrain, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco will not take place. With that, a big chunk of the season is missed out in a year which was meant to contain a record-breaking amount of races. 

However, the concerns surrounding COVID-19 have not been blown out of proportion, with all developments around the world.

Formula 1 and local organizers have to rely on that one event, so cancelling seven (if you count China) is no small feat. Of the 22 scheduled races, we now only have 15 left by the sounds of the latest reports. 

That is not unique because Formula 1 has driven with fewer races on the calendar for years. In 1975 there were 15 races for the first time and in 1976 they pushed this to 16. Since 1981, F1 has always had 15 races or more on the calendar, and in recent years the calendar has even increased to numbers above 20.

Azerbaijan has started the season

Where the Chinese Grand Prix was initially postponed, this does not seem to be the case for these races. The organization already returned on Thursday night to the statement that the race in Australia would be overtaken. For the time being, the races are still on the calendar, but when the races are canceled, the season looks very different.

Then we start in Azerbaijan on Friday, June 5. Canada, France and Austria are the next races on the calendar. With the gap at the start of the season, races may still be held in the summer break. The question is which races and how many? There are not many gaps in the rest of the schedule, so Formula 1 will certainly not reach the record in 22 races in 2020.

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