Formula 1 2020 Schedule Has Been Modified & Approved As F1 Executes TWO Triple Headers In The First 8 Weeks. Download your copy of the modified schedule below:

The first 8 races have been confirmed for the Formula 1 2020 schedule. I’ll get straight to it and give you the rundown on the events the high level supporting facts. 

Round 1: Formula 1 Rolex Grosser Preis von Osterreich

  • Where: The Red Bull Ring, Austria
  • When: July 3-5

Round 2: Formula 1 Pirelli Grosser Preis der Steiermark

  • Where: The Red Bull Ring, Austria
  • When: July 10-12

Round 3: Formula 1 Aramco Magyar Nagydij

  • Where: The Hungaroring, Hungary
  • When: July 17-19

Round 4: Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix

  • Where: Silverstone, UK
  • When: July 31 – August 2

Round 5 Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

  • Where: Silverstone, UK
  • When: August 7-9

Round 6: Formula 1 Aramco Gran Premio de Espana

  • Where: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
  • When: August 14-16

Round 7: Formula 1 Rolex Belgian Grand Prix

  • Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
  • When: August 28-30

Round 8: Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia

  • Where: Monza, Italy
  • When: September 4-6

Watch The 2020 Formula 1 Season Updated Video

 Interviewed by Chase Carey June 03 by Formula 1, The FOM Group Head has this to say about balance speed with precision for the 2020 calendar given the global climate:

CHASE CAREY, CEO OF THE FORMULA ONE GROUP
We want to make sure we do it right but in these times, safety is still priority one, and we want to make sure we do it in a way that we’ve understood as much as possible what is required, what are the issues we have to deal with and not rush to any decisions before we can make them in the right way.”

Is The Formula 1 Schedule Being Rushed?

2020 will see the return of the triple header not once, but twice in one season… over an 8 week period. The first triple header F1 had was in 2018 when the French, Austrian, and British Grand Prix were held on consecutive weekends. Many bosses spoke out about this in 2018 citing the stress on personal. Red Bull Team Boss Christian Horner commented:

CHRISTIAN HORNER, RED BULL RACING TEAM BOSS
It’s certainly expensive, for moving cars, parts, people in such short succession. You’ll see here (Spielberg) we have a different hospitality facility. The usual Energy Station just simply wouldn’t have been possible for it to complete the triple headers, so, of course, there’s cost associated with that. There’s a drain on resource because obviously an awful lot of components going backwards and forwards to the UK. We’re fortunate that the final race of the triple header for us is where the team is obviously based. Obviously harder for teams not based in the UK – but it’s certainly tough.

It’s an important point to remember as we’re in trying financial times as it is. At the moment, these races will not include any fans which only increases the burdens and risks associated with the F1 season. There are many forces against Liberty & FOM to get a schedule ready and the grid back to racing again. Chief among them is the delicate sponsorships and contract talks the sport holds with venues and governments. It’s a tough place Formula 1 executives are in:

  • On one hand, safety is their main priority. And even if you are being cynical, the optics alone are important enough for F1 to pursue health and safety for the grid & fans alike
  • One the other hand, they have a fiduciary duty and obligations to meet. In a sense, we MUST go racing at some point… almost despite the costs (barring any major uptick in the global crisis). 
FORMULA 1 SCHEDULE 2020 UPDATED

And therein lies the root of the issue. This is a global sport with many governments, sets of politics, and a growing fanbase hungry for the sport. All things considered, Liberty has done an incredible job getting enough races to satisfy a Formula 1 championship as stated in 5.4 of The Formula 1 Sporting Regulations as seen above. The financial implications are great across the board, and F1 is least of all immune. Their primary sources of revenue are from race fees, sponsorships, and broadcast contracts. On the Liberty Media earnings call for their Q1 filings they stated:

“Since there were no events held during the first quarter of 2020, primary F1 revenue consisted only of the elements of sponsorship contracts associated with non-race-related rights that were recognized during the period, and no race promotion fees nor broadcasting fees were recognized.”

This lack of racing translated to a revenue loss of 93% dropping from nearly $200 million to $13 million. 

It’s abundantly clear that it’s not even feasible for the sport to not race even with it’s massive umbrella company that Formula 1 operates under floating it cash.

So, did they rush this first string of races? Yes. Was it Necessary? I believe so.

What’s Next For The Formula 1 2020 Season?

Now that we know why 15 is the target, and 8 are confirmed, let’s take a look at the state of the current situation to see what’s possible.

Here are the rounds that have been cancelled and it has been made clear they will not be rescheduled:

  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • Monaco
  • France

These are the 5 rounds that Liberty has kept on the table as venues to to be rescheduled and are currently looking for a new date:

  • Bahrain
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • Azerbaijan
  • Canada 

That leaves 7 races in limbo:

  • Singapore
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • US
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Abu Dhabi

Closing Thoughts

Optimistically, I will assume that 4 of these 5 grand prix that were elected to be classified as “TBD” are going to be rescheduled. If one had to be cut, I could see China being the biggest problem rescheduling. That puts us at 12 grand prix for the 2020 season. I’m confident the Rounds in the Americas will go through which should satisfy Liberty’s lofty projections even without the need to double up events as they’ve done at Silverstone. All in all, I’m impressed with the aggressive schedule Liberty has been able to secure logistically. My biggest concern is what this will do to the teams and overall atmosphere of grand prix racing.

Personnel are going to be absolutely worn out. And EVEN IF teams are operating at 100% full capacity now, which I’m sure not all are, their people may experience exhaustion as was the case in 2018. Nonetheless, for now, let’s enjoy the good news that grand prix racing is back. And it’ll be non-stop action to the likes the sport has never seen throughout it’s 70 years. As more Formula 1 news comes out about 2020 and beyond, you can bank on getting an objective on breaking F1 coverage.