It looks like 2020 Formula One season will be starting sooner or later but not before July and with no spectators, as F1 boss Ross Brawn declared on Sky Sports F1.
Ross Brawn offered us an extensive update on Formula 1 giving us hopes and plans for the unborn 2020 season during his appearance on Sky F1 Vodcast. "The 2020 season will likely begin behind closed doors in Europe after the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic," he said.
However, the season will be starting after one month from now if there are to be 19 races this year -the shortest since 2015. Three Grands Prix have been removed from the original 22 rounds (the longest calendar in the sport's history) as there would have been, with a further six in Bahrain, Vietnam, Holland, Spain, Azerbaijan, and Canada respectively postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brawn stated he is strongly optimistic about holding a 19-race season without fans in attendance.
On Tuesday, the Canadian GP was cancelled - the ninth round to be postponed with other canceled rounds like Monaco GP in the calendar. Nevertheless, organizers are now working on a revised calendar for when the campaign can eventually begin.
The season is on hold still until the end of June with French Grand Prix on June 28th, which is the starter of the European-leg races. But the question here is, will it be the tenth round to be postponed too? Or will it be the actual F1 2020 season opener?
Here are what Ross Brawn has said on the Vodcast:
About holding races in 2020:
"Our view is probably a European start will be favourable and that could even be a closed event. We could have a very enclosed environment, where teams come in on charters, we channel them into the circuit, we make sure everyone is tested, cleared and that there is no risk to anyone."
"Travel for the teams and travel for everyone involved is going to be one of the big issues,"
"We have a race with no spectators. That’s not great, but it’s better than no racing at all. We have to remember there are millions of people who follow the sport sat at home. A lot of them are isolating and to be able to keep the sport alive and put on a sport and entertain people would be a huge bonus in this crisis we have. But we can’t put anyone at risk.
Mostly European rounds:
"We’re looking at the organizational structure which would give us the earliest start. But also the ability to maintain that start. There’s no point having a start and then stopping again for a while. It’s most likely to be in Europe. It’s conceivable that it could be a closed event.”
8 Races = Champion is done safely from June until October:
"Eight races is the minimum we can have a world championship, [according to] the FIA Statutes. We could achieve eight races by starting in October. So if you wanted a drop-dead point it would be October.
Expanded season until January 2021:
"But then there is always the possibility we could run into next year. That’s being explored. Can we stray into January to finish the season? There are all sorts of complications, as you can imagine, with that.
It's either 18 or 19 Rounds:
"If we were able to start at the beginning of July we could do a 19-race season. [It would be] tough - three races on, one weekend off, three races on, one weekend off. We have looked at all the logistics, and we think we can hold an 18-19 race season if we can get started at the beginning of July. The choice is between those two numbers."
Two Back to Back race weekends in China:
"We may have some two-day races in order to meet the logistical needs," "For instance, China looks like it will probably be a two-day race if we go ahead with it because to get there and get away to the next event we are planning, it could easily be a two-day race."
If the races go ahead until 2021, It looks like Abu Dhabi GP will be rescheduled from November 29 to another date in 2021 so the campaign remains concluded in the United Arab Emirates.