COLORADO: It was presupposed to be a document 22-race world championship however with seven Grands Prix already both postponed or cancelled, Components One in 2020 has change into a shorter, tightly-packed and economically difficult dash for the title.
The season-opener in Australia and F1’s iconic Riviera showpiece in Monaco have been axed.
Races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands and Spain have additionally been shelved however with organisers nonetheless hoping to shoehorn them right into a breathless finale as soon as the specter of the coronavirus had subsided.
A season which ought to have began in Melbourne on March 14 will not begin till Azerbaijan on June 7 — on the earliest.
“It’s super complicated to redo a calendar because you don’t know when everything will be operational,” Frederic Vasseur, the group principal of the Alfa Romeo F1 group, advised AFP.
“You need to have a global vision. England is not too affected at the moment but it could be when Italy is less affected,” he added in reference to the 2 nations which play host to a lot of the groups on the planet championship.
There are nonetheless 15 races left on the schedule earlier than the concluding race at Abu Dhabi on November 29.
Final weekend, Ross Brawn, the sporting director of F1, stated he was optimistic of a “17-18 race” championship.
Nonetheless, that was when solely Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China had been dropped.
On Thursday, the Dutch Grand Prix, slated to make its return to the calendar for the primary time since 1985 on Could 3, and the Spanish occasion, set for Could 10, had been postponed.
The Monaco GP, an annual showstopper since 1955 and set for Could 24 this yr, was cancelled utterly.
“We are in unchartered territory. I’m pretty optimistic that we can have a good 17-18 race championship or more,” Brawn advised Sky Sports activities.
“I think we can squeeze them in. But it depends on when the season can start.”
There’s wriggle room.
The standard three-week summer season shutdown in August has been scrapped to get replaced by a 21-day break in March and April whereas the racing season hunkers down.
The championship now turns into a frantic six-month dash quite than a nine-month marathon.
To rescue the calendar, there may be an choice of two races organised on the identical weekend.
“It’s possible,” stated Brawn, eyeing the three weeks between the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 2 and at Spa in Belgium on August 30.
“One thing we have also been talking about is two-day weekends, and therefore if we have a triple header with two-day weekends, that could be an option.”
F1 experimented with three races in a row in 2018 however help was lukewarm from groups who sweated over workers fatigue.
“I think what we need from the teams this year is flexibility, I think they’ve got to give some scope to do these things,” added Brawn.
“As a result of we’re in very uncommon circumstances, and we’ve received to ensure we’ve received a season that offers financial alternative for the groups.
“For sure we’re going to have a quiet start. I’m sure the teams will be flexible to allow us to fit those things in.”
Greater than ever, financial institution balances and revenue will likely be key in 2020 as groups and organisers grapple with the implications of a shorter, crammed season.
“The costs are not necessarily much lower if you do 18 races rather than 22,” stated Vasseur.
“Also, our income will be less — we do fewer races, we will have less commercial rights.”