The 22-race calendar originally established for 2020 is still set to become a record-breaking one, but only if we take into account different criteria.
Formula 1 is coming face-to-face with its biggest challenge following the cancellation of the first four races. As all races initially scheduled in May are due to be postponed, the first rumours concerning the new 2020 calendar start surfacing amid the Coronavirus chaos.
The paddock consensus would see Baku as the season opener but the matter is still clouded in uncertainty, as more and more countries are emulating Italy’s precautional measures and subsequently going into a comprehensive lockdown set to last until the end of March.
Ross Brawn optimistically declare that the new version of the calendar would include 18 races, which would need to be rearranged and shrunk in a total of 182 days. Rumour has it that the summer break might be brought forward to March, as Racing Point team manager Andy Stevenson suggested last week in Melbourne. Factories might head towards a two-week shutdown, in order to get the season rolling and the engines roaring in August as well.
According to German outlet Auto Motor und Sport, F1 and the teams have agreed that each team can decide to close down its factory with only only 24 hours' notice, as prescribed by the regulations in August. For instance, Ferrari already set the example, following the directions imposed by the Italian government. https://www.motorlat.com/notas/f1/14929/box-box-box-ferrari-will-close-down-for-2-weeks
This week is set to be crucial as for the drawing up of a new provisional calendar, featuring a stressfully upsetting blend of back-to-back races and a triple-header.
With the month of June provisionally staying as it is, the twist would come with the British GP, as the plan is to insert the Spanish GP between Silverstone and Budapest (August 2nd).
The comeback of the dreaded triple-header would be set for the end of August, in the attempt of combining the Dutch GP, the Belgian GP and the Italian GP. Then it would be Vietnam’s turn to be arranged within the calendar, either before or after the Japanese GP.
Needless to say that the races in Australia and China will hence not be rescheduled due to logistics matters.
Abu Dhabi will eventually keep its season-finale status, but the event might be postponed to the following week as the Bahrain GP would take place on November 29th.
As the Coronavirus situation quickly evolves day by day, more details on how F1 is going to deal with this unprecedented issue will follow.