The 2020 Formula One season has been subject to some pretty wild trials and tribulations this year, what with cancellations and reschedulings—and the series hasn’t even sorted out November yet. Now, though, two former tracks are in the running to host some end-of-season races: Istanbul and Jerez.
The latter bits of the season have been up in the air considering the fact that COVID-19 is still going strong. So, the series is aiming to flesh out the schedule wherever it can. Considering that F1 and the Turkish government have been in talks since Liberty Media took over the operation in 2017, it makes sense that the Istanbul Park circuit is pegged to fill one of the slots.
According to Autosport, Turkey is claiming its circuit only needs a few repairs despite not hosting regular racing events.
The decision is not without criticism. Turkey has been an unstable country for years, with 2019 being an especially rough year for human rights. Local journalists are often targeted, with prisoners treated in inhumane or degrading ways. Essentially, it’s not the safest place to be at the moment.
The move to Jerez, which last hosted a race in 1997 but has recently hosted pre-season testing, is certainly a bit less controversial—although fans have already pegged it as a boring track.
After the onset of the pandemic, F1 set a goal of hosting 15-18 races despite everything, which the series would hit with these next two additions. If the races in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain are finalized for December, that would make for a grand total of 17 races this season.
Istanbul and Jerez would join Imola, Nürburgring, and Mugello as former F1 tracks making a return to the 2020 calendar.