London: Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has said that they are expecting to run a shortened season of 15-18 races once racing starts after the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought entire sporting calendar to a grinding halt.
The original 2020 calendar had 22 races but the season is yet to start with the first eight postponed or cancelled and more likely to be called off amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The campaign was supposed to begin March 15 with the Australian Grand Prix, but that race was called off hours before the scheduled start of free practice, followed in rapid succession by the postponement of the next six races on the schedule: Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco. On Monday, Azerbaijan Grand Prix, set for June 7 in Baku, was also postponed.
“Over the past week, Formula 1, the ten F1 teams and the FIA have come together and taken rapid, decisive action as part of our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Carey said in a statement.
“While at present no-one can be certain of exactly when the situation will improve, it will improve and when it does, we will be ready to go racing again. We are all committed to bringing our fans a 2020 Championship Season.
“We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races,” he added.
Last week, F1 had announced that the usual mid-season break would take place during the COVID-19 shutdown rather than in August.
“We will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March-April to race during the normal summer break period, and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29th November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar,” Carey said.