Formula 1 is expected to announce the next batch of 2020 race dates in the coming days with Mugello set to be the first new event on the updated schedule.
The Ferrari-owned venue has been handed the 13 September slot to form the last part of a triple-header, following on from Spa and Monza.
Mugello, which traditionally hosts the Italian MotoGP, has already confirmed the 2020 event has been cancelled amid the race calendar shake-up triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, while MotoGP championship organisers Dorna Sports have been in contact with Ferrari about F1 racing at the circuit this year.
It’s believed that the name chosen for the race will reflect the support of the local Tuscany region, just as this weekend’s second Red Bull Ring event carries the Styria identity.
The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi is also set to be confirmed on its original date of 27 September, with the organisers having already begun to advertise ticket sales, having earlier put them on hold. The move indicates that the race could be one of the first in 2020 to allow spectators to attend.
Hopes to run the Canadian Grand Prix immediately after the Russian GP have faded. Weather considerations meant that early October was the only realistic window, and Portimao in Portugal is now expected to land that slot.
China and Vietnam are set to be given slots on the revised calendar in late October. Vietnam has regained momentum in recent weeks. It had been thought that the Hanoi organisers were prepared to wait until 2021 to hold their inaugural race rather than run two events within five or six months of each other, but the government recently expressed its support for the race.
In contrast plans for China may yet be compromised by a statement from the country’s general administration of sport this week, which indicated that “in principle” there will be no major events in the country except those run as a preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
It’s believed that F1’s upcoming announcement will cover September and October, leaving most of November free for the time being.
The US, Mexican and Brazilian races have not yet been postponed or cancelled, but all three are in serious doubt, and with Canada gone that would mean there will no F1 event in the Americas in 2020.
As expected the plan is to end the season with two races in Bahrain on 29 November and 6 December, prior to the Abu Dhabi finale on 13 December.
Imola and Hockenheim remain on standby and could be slotted into any gaps, local weather considerations permitting.