F1 has formally confirmed the return of Turkey for the 2020 season as four more rounds have been added which will end the year mid-December.
After it was last held in 2011, Turkey’s Istanbul Park circuit will make a surprise return for the 2020 F1 season on November 13-15 under its old name of Turkish GP. It will be first of the four rounds which should culminate the COVID-19-affected calendar.
Post Turkey, F1 will travel to Bahrain for two rounds on November 27-29 and December 4-6, respectively, under two different names as Abu Dhabi will remain as finale on December 11-13 weekend. This makes it 17 rounds confirmed for the 2020 season.
This news also confirms the official cancellation of Chinese GP but the release doesn’t add anything about Vietnam GP, who were looking for a new date in October-November. Comparing with the original 2020 F1 calendar, only nine were able to take place from the 22 confirmed before COVID-19 as per the latest update.
The race in Turkey is subjected to circuit homologation with the title being FORMULA 1 DHL TURKISH GRAND PRIX 2020 – Intercity Istanbul Park, whereas the two Bahrain races will be named differently – although it is not firm if it will be different layouts.
The first one is its regular name of FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2020 -Bahrain International Circuit, while the second will be FORMULA 1 ROLEX SAKHIR GRAND PRIX 2020 -Bahrain International Circuit.
The Abu Dhabi finale will continue as FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2020 – Yas Marina Circuit. Aside this, F1 has noted that limited number of fans will be allowed in, not just at the stands but also in the hospitality area but not in Abu Dhabi.
Chase Carey said: “We are proud to announce that Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be part of our 2020 season. This year has presented Formula 1 and the world with an unprecedented challenge and we want to pay tribute to everyone across Formula 1, the FIA, the teams, and our partners who have made this possible.
“While we are all disappointed that we have not been able to return to some of our planned races this year we are confident our season has started well and will continue to deliver plenty of excitement with traditional, as well as new, races that will entertain all our fans.”
UPDATE: Following the announcement from F1, the FIA Formula 2 (F2) Championship also confirmed its two final rounds to be in Bahrain and that they won’t be having a round in Abu Dhabi, with the post-season test at the same venue as the finale.
“We are very pleased to conclude our 2020 season in Bahrain with two back-to-back race weekends,” said Bruno Michel. “We had originally planned to end the year in Abu Dhabi, which will ultimately not happen, but I am looking forward to going back to the Yas Marina Circuit in the near future.
“I’m very satisfied to see that in these trying times, we have still managed to keep our calendar to 12 rounds in total. It’s a great achievement. I would like to thank both F1 and the FIA for their tremendous help to make this happen and allow us to keep on racing in such difficult conditions through a particularly efficient protocol.
“I must say that it has been a global effort by everyone involved, from the organisation to the teams and the drivers. I am now looking forward to a safe and exciting end to the season.”
UPDATE 2: Following the announcement of the races, Bahrain circuit took to Twitter to state that the decision on the second race’s layout is yet to be taken with them in discussion with F1 over other possibilities.
“F1 is currently analysing various track layout possibilities for the second race. We will provide an update once that decision has been made,” it said to a fan. Regarding fans, they added that it will be depend on the Government’s decision.
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