Formula One cancels all four Americas races for 2020

Cancellations due to pandemic take tally of races axed from 2020 calendar to 11

Cars at the start of the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at the Nuerburgring race track. Photograph: Srdjan Suki/Pool/EPA

Cars at the start of the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany at the Nuerburgring race track. Photograph: Srdjan Suki/Pool/EPA

 

Formula One scrapped all four of this season’s races in the Americas on Friday due to the Covid-19 pandemic and added three European rounds, including old favourites Imola and the Nuerburgring, to the calendar.

While previously scheduled grands prix in Canada, Texas, Mexico and Brazil were cancelled, Formula One said in a statement that Portugal’s Portimao will host a race for the first time.

“Due to the fluid nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, local restrictions and the importance of keeping communities and our colleagues safe, it will not be possible to race in Brazil, USA, Mexico and Canada this season,” it said.

The cancellations take the tally of races axed from the original 2020 calendar to 11. The other coronavirus casualties are Australia, France, Monaco, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan.

The revised schedule now has 13 rounds, with Formula One aiming for a reduced championship of 15-18 with final races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

Fifteen grands prix is the minimum needed to fulfil television contracts.

China’s postponed race in Shanghai is also expected to be cancelled but Vietnam remains in play and there has been talk of returning to Malaysia’s Sepang.

Formula One, whose commercial rights are held by US-based Liberty Media, said it looked forward to returning to the Americas next season.

The United States on Thursday passed a total of more than four million coronavirus infections since its first case was documented in January.

Texas, which was due to host the US Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas on October 25th, has been one of the states hardest hit by the resurgent coronavirus.

Badly hit

Brazil, with total confirmed cases of nearly 2.3 million, has the world’s worst outbreak of Covid-19 outside the United States, while Mexico ranks fourth in the world for fatalities.

Formula One said the Nuerburgring would host the Eifel Grand Prix, named after the German region, on October 11th, giving champions Mercedes a home race.

The Portuguese Grand Prix will be held on October 25th at the Algarve circuit, the country’s first race since 1996, and Imola hosts the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on November 1st – giving Italy three races for the first time. The others are at Monza and Mugello, the latter owned by Ferrari and due to host the Italian team’s 1,000th world championship grand prix in September.

The only other occasion one country has hosted three races in the same season was 1982, when the United States had grands prix at Long Beach, Detroit and Las Vegas.

Imola previously hosted the Italian Grand Prix in 1980 and San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006. Brazil’s triple world champion Ayrton Senna died there in 1994 while driving for Williams.

The old Nuerburgring was a famous pre-second World War venue for grand prix racing and the remodelled circuit last featured in the Formula One world championship in 2013. The circuit sank into insolvency in 2012 and then changed ownership in 2014.

In its long history, the rural circuit has hosted races variously designated as the German, European and Luxembourg Grands Prix.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.