The motorsport universe has been battered by the Coronavirus pandemic on all levels, as all restrictive measures have forced factories to head into a three-week break. Despite the fact that travel bans, lockdowns and other limitations may be carried on until early summer season, Liberty and the FIA are working on resuming the 2020 season as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, even the drawing up of a revised calendar will take more time than expected, as it is tightly linked to the spread of the virus across the world.
TRAVEL BAN ALERT
At the moment, cancellations and postponements have reached the first week of June, with the Canadian GP on June 14 being the first date on the schedule. The event appears to be in peril, as the Canadian government may close the borders until the end of June. Regardless of the optimism surrounding motorsport in America, travel restrictions might embody a further hurdle to the normal course of sporting events.
In fact, the Indy 500 has been moved from May 24 to August 23 for safety reasons.
As Auto Motor und Sport reports, disputing the first half of the season in Europe stands for the most viable option based on logistical grounds.
Moreover, the situation in Europe is expected to improve sooner than in other continents. Transports by truck rather than cargo planes would be easier, as airlines’ cargos are currently fully utilized.
Hence, it is not unimaginable that either the French GP or the British GP (first race in July in case travel restrictions are enforced in Europe until June 30th) will host the season opener.
WHAT HAPPENS IF LESS THAN 15 RACES ARE FULFILLED IN 2020?
Chase Carey’s ultimate target is to dispute from 15 to 18 races in 2020, with the inevitable return of triple headers and the reduction of race weekends to two-day events.
Although the minimum amount of races for a world championship is 8, finalizing 15 races is key for television contracts. Below this number, it would become necessary to renegotiate with broadcasters. In case the 2020 season turns out to feature from 12 to 14 races, further modifications are expected to be applied to the number of PU components available before incurring in a penalty. In that case teams would be allowed to use 2 ICE, 2 MGU-H, 2 MGU-K, 2 TURBO, 2 ES e 2 CE.
In aid of such a pesky issue for Liberty and TVs, there comes the possibility of extending the 2020 season to early 2021 but more obstacles stand on the path.
CONTRACTUAL ISSUES BETWEEN 2020 AND 2021
The old Concorde agreement expires at the end of December and 13 driver contracts will no longer be valid beyond December 31st. The same goes for sponsorship deals and equipment contracts. In case they are not extended until January, the closing stages of the 2020 season might be thwarted by contractual matters. In fact, a driver moving to a different team could be banned until the season ends.