With the 2020 Formula One season in its first off week following an eventful start to the sport’s 70th year of racing, a new wave of racing events have been added to this year’s schedule that has yet to confirm how many total Grand Prix races will occur this season.
For the first time since 1996, Formula One will race in Portugal after it was confirmed on Friday, July 24, that the sport will race at Algarve International Circuit in Portimao for the Portuguese Grand Prix. This will also mark the first time where the F1 cars will race at Portimao, which will occur on October 25 and is scheduled to be the 12th Grand Prix race of this season.
Other venues that have been confirmed to be installed for this season are Nurburgring and Imola. The Eifel Grand Prix at Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany, will occur on October 11 while the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Bologna, will occur on November 1. Imola is scheduled to be a two-day event, with a practice session to occur along with qualifying and the main event. This will mark the first time since 2006 where Imola will host an F1 event and the first time since 2013 where Nurburgring will host a Formula One Grand Prix race.
The races at Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola will occur following a one-week break that takes place after the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi scheduled on September 27. The races in Sochi, Nurburg, Portimao and Imola are part of a 13-race schedule currently implemented for this year’s Formula One season. Other countries that are scheduled to host Grand Prix races this season include Great Britain, Spain, Belgium and Italy, which will run two races on back-to-back weekends prior to Russia. The countries of Bahrain, Vietnam, China and the United Arab Emirates have not determined their 2020 F1 schedule for this season.
Despite the new additions to the racing calendar, Formula One confirmed the cancellation of more events this season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions while opting to keep the communities and colleagues of F1 safe. Among the new wave of cancelled races this season include the United States Grand Prix, the Canadian Grand Prix, the Mexico City Grand Prix and the Brazilian Grand Prix. The United States of America, Canada, Mexico and Brazil join a host of other countries that include Australia, Netherlands, Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, Singapore and Japan that have cancelled their scheduled F1 races of 2020. This will mark the first time since 2011 where the United States of America will not feature a Formula One Grand Prix race and the first time since 2009 where Canada will not host the F1 cars.
All plans are to have the Grand Prix races from each respective country back for the 2021 season while the remainder of this year’s Formula One World Championship schedule will be released at a late date.
This year’s F1 season was delayed from starting on March 15 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the sport has completed its first three races of the season. It all started at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 and the Styrian Grand Prix on July 12 also at Red Bull Racing followed by the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary, on July 19.
Through the first three F1 races of this season, Lewis Hamilton, the reigning six-time Formula One World champion and driver for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, leads the standings by five points over teammate Valtteri Bottas, both of whom have emerged victorious through the three races. Max Verstappen of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing is third in the title standings, trailing by 33 points, followed by McLaren’s Lando Norris and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon. The competitors who are situated in the top 10 in the standings are Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sebastian Vettel. Rounding out the 20-car field, respectively, are Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Esteban Ocon, Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi, Romain Grosjean and George Russell.
In addition, Mercedes, the reigning six-time Constructors’ champions and eight-time drivers’ champions, lead this year’s Constructors’ standings by 66 points over Red Bull Racing-Honda, 80 over McLaren-Renault, 81 over Racing Point-BWT Mercedes and 94 over Ferrari. Trailing behind by 12 points or less are Renault, AlphaTauri-Honda, Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari, Haas-Ferrari and Williams-Mercedes.
The 2020 Formula One World Championship season will resume on August 2 at Silverstone Circuit in Great Britain for the British Grand Prix followed by the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, which will also run at Silverstone on August 9.