F1 season to kick off with run of 8 races in Europe

F1’s revised 2020 calendar will start with a collection of eight races in Europe taking place between early July and September 6.

Formula 1 is still in the process of organizing its “biospehere” for its European events that will all take place behind closed gates. An environment in which social distancing and safety measures shall be applied will govern the work of all ten teams and track and organization personnel.

The provisional schedule will kick off as planned on July 5 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria where teams will race on consecutive weekends.

F1 will then head to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 19, a move that pushes back the original dates earmarked for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Despite the quarantine that will likely be in force in the Britain this summer, PM Boris Johnson has vowed to help the government accommodate F1 and exempt its community of the country’s isolation measures.

To help Silverstone’s chances of hosting a double-header, Formula 1 has slotted the British event’s double-header into August.

Teams will undergo a non-stop five-week stint during the month and beyond, heading to Spain immediately after Silverstone and setting up shop at the Circuit de Catalunya for the Spanish Grand Prix on August 16.

From there, the community will head north to Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix before trekking back down to Monza for the Italian round of the F1 world championship.

After its grueling European tour, which is schedule to include Formula 2 and Formula 3 support events, F1 will be looking to race in Asia and in America before concluding its truncated campaign in the Middle-East.

While F1 is still seeking to re-schedule Vietnam and China’s rounds, Singapore is expected to be canceled, with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku taking its September 20 slot just one week before Sochi hosts its September 27 Russian Grand Prix.

The 2020 season will likely end in Abu Dhabi as originally planned but at a later date in December.

  1. July 5 — Spielberg, Austria
  2. July 12 — Spielberg, Austria
  3. July 19 — Budapest, Hungary
  4. August 2 — Silverstone, Great Britain
  5. August 9 — Silverstone, Great Britain
  6. August 16 — Barcelona, Spain
  7. August 30 — Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
  8. September 6 — Monza, Italy

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Horner sees generation clash as 'fantastic' for Formula 1

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says the battle for supremacy between “old dog” Lewis Hamilton and young guns such as Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc is “fantastic” for F1.

Hamilton conquered his sixth world title in 2019, but the 35-year-old Mercedes driver was frequently pressured by his young Red Bull and Ferrari rivals who collectively seized five wins.

The Briton has vowed to raise his game this year and fend off the ever-growing threat of the voracious young lions snapping at his heels.

But with regulations unchanged for 2020, Horner sees a “classic” year ahead and another three-way battle involving F1’s front-running outfits, with a fascinating generation clash to boot.

“Every now and again, you get a wave coming along and I think we’ve got that at the moment,” Horner said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“So I think especially exciting is the Max/Leclerc dynamic, how that’s going to play out over future years, how Lewis can still go toe to toe with those guys.

“Because there’s life in him yet as well and I think he’s keen to gauge himself against the young wave that’s coming through.

“I think for Formula 1 it’s fantastic to have the dynamics of the young guys, the challengers, coming through and some of the older guys that are the old dogs that know all the tricks.”

Both Verstappen and Leclerc recently committed to long term deals with Red Bull and Ferrari, while Hamilton is expected to extend his stay with Mercedes until at least the end of 2022.

The status quo implies that Hamilton’s challenge against F1’s “youngsters” will only get tougher, but that’s a prospect which the reigning world champion absolutely relishes.

“The core of what I do is that I love racing, I love the challenge,” Hamilton said.

“I love arriving knowing I have got these incredibly talented youngsters who are trying to beat me and outperform me, outsmart me, and I love that battle that I get into that every single year.

“And I am working with these guys who are so much smarter than me and they make me feel smarter.

“When I am challenging them and proving them wrong so many times, it is unreal!”

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Horner predicting record costs for Red Bull in 2020

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says next season’s campaign coupled with the costs required to prepare for F1’s 2021 regulation changes will lead to the most expensive year in the outfit’s history.

F1 teams will enjoy a free rein in terms of investment in 2020, a year before the sport ushers in its regulatory budget cap, and top teams are expected to spend lavishly on the design and development of their new-spec 2021 contenders, even though certain development restrictions – such as wind tunnel time – will apply.

Horner says the additional spending linked to F1’s future transformation is inevitable, with the Milton Keynes-based outfit already allocating resources to its 2021 programme.

“For me, I stand by what I said previously,” Horner said. “It would have been better to have introduced the cap first and then the regulations a year down the line, because then the budget cap would have constrained the amount of spend.

“Next year looks to be our most expensive ever year in F1.

“Now the 2021 regulations are clear, we have an advanced team starting to investigate those regulations,” he said.

“It makes it an incredibly expensive year because we are developing under two types of regs and before the new financial cap comes in as well.

“So, 2020 will be an expensive and busy year, certainly off track and on track.”

McLaren F1 boss Zak Brown, whose team is currently leading the midfield battle with two races to go, fears the top teams’ financial power in 2020 will provide them with an edge in 2021.

“This is going to be a journey, the cost cap,” Brown said. “There will be a lot of spending in ’20 that will have implications for ’21.

“And of course once you get a head start when you see regulations, whether it’s on the power unit front, stability over time tends to bring things together.

“So, I think Ferrari and Mercedes are in a great position and we’re all trying to catch up and it will take some time.”

Claire Williams agrees that next year’s development plans for 2021 will favour the big teams, but Williams’ deputy team principal sees convergence down the road.

“For teams like ours, for Alfa, for Haas, they’re operating on considerably less budget than the rest of the grid,” Williasm noted.

“It’s a really difficult piece of work at the moment to try to marry up the programmes we are running for not just this year but for next year and ’21.

“There’s clearly going to need to be some convergence, which I’m sure we will see – we’ve got stability on these regulations for five years from ’21 and beyond.

“It is difficult. It is incredibly difficult. But these regulations, particularly as I said earlier, the financial regulations that we are seeing, are the right things for teams like ours that are truly independent and rely solely on sponsorship.”

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