The German GP at the Hockenheim circuit could make an appearance on the 2020 calendar, as F1 seeks to fulfill their 15-18 races goal.
With the calendar shuffle the COVID-19 crisis has brought to F1, all options are on the table. For this reason, multiple races at certain tracks, as well as reversed track layouts have been discussed as possibilities for the 2020 season, or rather, what’s left of it.
So it makes sense that one circuit that was sidelined for 2020 – the Hockenheimring – would be appraised as an option to step in if they can hold F1 races in Europe, thereby limiting travel for various teams and officials to other nations.
The German track has a storied history with F1. For quite some time, it was a staple of the calendar, but after an overhaul, which included a wide-scale layout change, things changed pretty substantially and financially it became an issue as well.
Over the past decade, it has disappeared and reappeared as a venue on the F1 calendar. In 2010 and 2012, there were grand prix held at the track. Meanwhile, it was absent in 2011 and 2013. Just like clockwork, it was back in 2014.
For those years, it had shared the spotlight with the Nurburgring, but even after that race pulled out after 2013, races at Hockenheim alternated year-by-year, until 2019, when it appeared for the second consecutive season after 2018.
German newspaper FAZ initially reported about F1 getting in touch with the owners of Hockenheim to check if the circuit will be willing to host a round in 2020 even if they were not planned to do so, as Auto Bild followed it up with a confirmation from the circuit.
“We have been in regular contact with F1, since the last race in 2019, i.e. before the Corona period,” circuit manager Jorn Teske noted. “The topic was indeed broached. We all see that the Formula 1 calendar is messed up by the circumstances.
“If there is any interest in F1 driving in Hockenheim this summer, we would be willing to talk. The prerequisite is, of course, that all health requirements and financial feasibility are guaranteed.” As mentioned, the big question remains about COVID-19 restrictions.
Germany started to re-open just like Austria but the cases seems to have surged then after. Other F1 circuits have also come in the news, with the prominent being Imola, but it remains to be seen how the Government restrictions plays plays out.
For now, the idea is to re-start in Austria with two races at Red Bull Ring, followed by two at Silverstone too. Reports of Hungaroring hosting two have come about too, while France and Monaco have officially dropped itself out of the picture for 2020 F1 season.
Question mark remains over Belgium and Italy, while the likes of Russia, Brazil, USA, Mexico, Japan, Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands and even China is playing a waiting game for now, with no answers to COVID-19.
Here’s FIA on extension of F1 shutdown
Here’s some of the F1 drivers showing reverse action for tracks
Here’s latest on what F1 is planning for 2020
Here’s FIA’s new safeguard clause
Here’s Liberty Media on reattribution
The story as co-written by Darshan Chokhani