Formula 1 has done it. They have managed to turn a truncated season in a 17-race calendar despite the compressed timeline. F1 announced the addition of four more races to its 2020 schedule starting with the return of Turn 8, or “Diabolica” at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Istanbul Park will host its first F1 race since leaving the series in 2011. The Tilke-designed track became a fan favorite for its famous Turn 8 which garnered the nickname, “Diabolica” due to its intense speed and dual apex nature.
The Turkish Grand Prix will join a double-header in Bahrain and the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Turkey on November 15 followed by Bahrain GP on November 29, Sakhir GP on December 6 and finally Abu Dhabi GP on December 13.
A victim in this new 4-race announcement is the Chinese Grand Prix. F1 said:
“We can confirm that Turkey, Bahrain (hosting two races), and Abu Dhabi will be part of the revised season and want to express our thanks to the hard work of all our promoters and partners in making this 17-race season possible.
“Sadly, we will not be racing in China this season and want to thank our partner Juss Sports for their support and engagement in recent months and hugely look forward to returning to Shanghai next year.”
Strange times bring strange solutions and adding Portugal, Imola and Turkey to the calendar is terrific as most of the drivers have never raced these circuits and the teams have no data, or very old data, on how best to attack the setup of the cars for these circuits.
One of the other announcements is that F1 will be opening up some of these races for fans.
“We can confirm that a number of races in the revised 2020 season will be open to a limited number of fans, including hospitality, and we are working with each promoter to finalise the details.
“While we want to see as many fans as possible return as soon as it is safe to do so, our priority remains the safety of the Formula 1 community and the communities we visit, and we review fan access on this basis.
“Due to the ongoing fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic we continue to maintain close dialogue with all promoters and local authorities to ensure we operate in the safest way possible and monitor each national situation closely – including travel restrictions and local health procedures.”
It has been a difficult year and I applaud F1 for getting a 17-race season created despite the unprecedented challenges they faced. It must have been a herculean task but they got it done and 17 races ensures the full broadcast revenue package the teams rely heavily on.
Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1, said: “We are proud to announce that Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be part of our 2020 season.
“This year has presented Formula 1 and the world with an unprecedented challenge and we want to pay tribute to everyone across Formula 1, the FIA, the teams, and our partners who have made this possible.
“While we are all disappointed that we have not been able to return to some of our planned races this year we are confident our season has started well and will continue to deliver plenty of excitement with traditional, as well as new, races that will entertain all our fans.”