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Formula 1 discussing holding a double header at Sochi

Events at two of Hockenheim, Imola or Mugello are also a possibility. Japan, Singapore and Azerbaijan look set to be cancelled. However, the first eight races would be enough for a championship to count says Ross Brawn.

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Formula 1 discussing holding a double header at Sochi
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre - MotorLat

Formula 1 announced the first eight races on its revised 2020 calendar earlier this week, including two races at the Red Bull Ring to start the season in July and Silverstone in August.  

With Monza taking place in early September, discussions are underway to fill the rest of the calendar and have 15 races in 2020, according to Auto Motor und Sport.

Here’s what’s could happen with the remainder of the calendar according to the German website  

  • Hockenheim is favourite to host a race as Italy already has a Grand Prix at Monza. Mugello and Imola are the other options for a European race, though. 
  • Singapore, Azerbaijan and Japan look set to be cancelled. The first two are street races and with no fans being allowed to attend, plus the fact they need notice to get the races ready, it looks like they’ll both be called off. Japan doesn’t want to open its borders to Europeans or Americans until March 2021 according to AMus. 
  • Vietnam has signalled to Formula 1 that there is not much interest in holding an Autumn race due to the fact that they’ll be hosting a race in Spring 2021.  
  • Sochi is seen as an ideal location for a doubleheader due to its infrastructure and its stadium-like facility is easy to shut off to the public. All hotels are within walking distance of the circuit. 
  • Brazil and Mexico are planning for their races but the increase in the number of infections from COVID-19 means there must be serious doubts about these events. 
  • The race at Circuit of The Americas is also in question. The financial situation is said to be tense thanks to the current crisis. IndyCar has already cancelled their race at COTA this year. An alternative for Formula 1 could be Indianapolis, which last hosted an F1 event in 2007. Canada looks set to be culled, too.
  • Bahrain and Abu Dhabi would seem to be secure, with Bahrain potentially holding two races as well. 

Ross Brawn confirmed to motorsport.com today that the eight European races from Austria to Monza across July, August and September. 

‘’In theory the eight European races will constitute a world championship.’’ 

Brawn admits it is a ‘’challenge’’ putting a calendar together due to the constant changes around the world with COVID-19 on a daily basis.  

"It is a challenge, but I think it was a challenge putting the European season together. Two or three weeks ago, a month ago, it looked impossible. But now we've got a decent calendar put together. 

"I think this situation changes on an almost daily basis. In the main it's getting better, but there are still some countries which are going through the worst. 

"So we need to give them, time, to see how quickly they are able to recover. Mexico is one where they still want to have a race, but they are in the throes of the pandemic at the moment. 

"With the extra time we'll have now before we have to make some hard decisions then we'll just let things evolve, and see where we are. 

"There's various options. I think we're going to be able to put a decent season together. I can't honestly tell you what shape it will be, but I think there will be enough races to make a good season." 

"If I'm honest the ones you're confident in one day, it changes the next day because there's so much happening, so I don't want to speculate about that. 

"There's a whole range of things that need to be considered, and the financial aspect is part of it, both let's say the holistic effect on F1, and the micro effect of how much it's going to cost us and the teams to go and race there. We're having to make those judgements. That's what we're faced with at the moment. 

"Some people have advocated just shutting up shut for the rest of the year and starting again in '21. I think that would be a bad thing to do, I think F1 would be in a much worse place than doing what we're doing, or else we wouldn't be doing what we're doing. We're just balancing all those elements." 

Whilst Brawn admitted Hockenheim and Imola are options, the sport is pursing with Plan A at present.  

"They are options, but they are not options we are pursuing at the moment. We're just checking out what can be done. As any sensible party would do, we're looking at what can be done on flyaways, what can be done within Europe. 

"So there are options, and we're fortunate that we've got these alternatives. We're trying to pursue Plan A at the moment." 

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