Boris ponders British GP, Germany ready, Austin wary

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Formula 1 is frenetically working on delivering a workable schedule for a compressed 2020 season. While the Silverstone circuit has agreed to host a two-race feature in late July, the British government would have to make an exemption for the series regarding the 14-day quarantine period required after travel.

F1 bosses spoke with PM Boris Johnson about this exemption and warned that should they not get the exemption, the British GP would have to move to Germany. It would be a bitter pill to lose the British GP to a race that was never on the original 2020 calendar but thought times breed tough decisions.

The series is attempting to put together the new calendar and some reports suggest this could be ready by next week.

“Liberty’s blueprint would involve a 5 July start for the 2020 season, with two grands prix in Austria, followed by another two at Silverstone, and then one in Budapest. Hockenheim or Barcelona would then open a triple-header with Spa and Monza to follow running from August into September. There are no plans for a return of the Dutch GP.”

I am unclear as to why the Dutch GP is not a feature on this list apart from timing issues presumably but the key number here is eight (8). Eight is the minimum number of races needed to contractually count as a world championship season and secure the estimated $520 million in broadcast revenue.

However, there’s a twist. The eight races have to be spread over at least three continents according to sporting regulation Article 2.4.3.b.i. This is why F1 said it was focused on a EMEA, APAC and North America feature to the compressed 2020 schedule.

Reports our of Austin Texas have local health officials warning that large gatherings may be prohibited for the remainder of the year so either the US GP will be closed-door or a non-event. However, Q4 is still a ways away and it might be premature to make decisions this definitive as time could change the situation. This leave Canada and Mexico as two other options for a North American leg of the season should Austin official make life difficult for F1.

Hat Tip: Guardian, Autosport, Daily Mail

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Tom Firth

So away from the headlines, F1 and MotorsportUK are lobbying the government as has been the case for weeks now on a number of matters related to the British Grand Prix. The first problem was to convince the government to allow sporting events to happen and by the phased plan released last week, this has been achieved in so far as the government intends to allow sporting events behind closed doors from as early as June 1st onwards. The second problem is this 14-day quarantine policy the government is pondering over and what impact it will have on F1 directly.… Read more »

MIE

Today, France has announced a reciprocal quarantine period (14 days) for anyone travelling from the UK. So the seven UK based teams will have to leave a fortnight early to travel to the Austrian GP.

It effectively means that once they depart for the start of the season they won’t be returning to t UK until the end. I wonder how many spare parts they will have to manufacture in case of accident damage, and how much space there is available on the trucks to store them?

Tom Firth

Indeed and I wouldn’t be too surprised if the local government of Baden-Wuerttemberg removed the United Kingdom from the list too of those who didn’t have to oblige on quarantine, making the German event less viable, given we didn’t reciprocate on a waiver to German or specific regional government citizens.

The list of exemptions including the UK previously came into effect in BW on May 18th.

Xean45

Here’s an interesting thought that will likely never happen but could be a boon for the crapped out season. Many old school racing games would extend the game play by running the same courses in reverse. I think this could be super interesting for back to back races at one circuit. Sure there’s some logistics and added costs, but think about Spa or Monaco run backwards. Seems like a fun idea to me.