Silverstone to host two races with F1 season set for July start

Ian Parker, PA

Formula One has confirmed plans for Silverstone to host two Grands Prix on August 2 and 9 as it unveiled an eight-race European calendar to get the 2020 season under way.

Racing will begin with a double-header at Austria’s Spielberg circuit on July 5 and 12 before the Hungarian Grand Prix, scheduled for July 19.

Teams will then head to Spain for a Grand Prix on August 16, before further races in Belgium (August 30) and Italy (September 6).

  • Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, July 3-5)
  • Steiermark Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring, July 10-12)
  • Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, July 17-19)
  • British Grand Prix (Silverstone, July 31 - August 2)
  • 70th Anniversary Grand Prix (Silverstone, August 7-9)
  • Spanish Grand Prix (Circuit de Barcelona, August 14-16)
  • Belgian Grand Prix (Spa, August 28-30)
  • Italian Grand Prix (Monza, September 4-6)

All races are expected to be staged behind closed doors with a minimum number of team personnel at the circuit.

A statement said: “Formula 1 has been working closely with all partners, authorities, the FIA and the ten teams to create a revised calendar that will allow a return to racing in a way that is safe for the communities we visit and the entire Formula 1 community.

“Due to the ongoing fluidity of the COVID-19 situation internationally, we will be finalising the details of the wider calendar and hope to publish that in the coming weeks with an expectation of having a total of 15-18 races before we complete our season in December.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will not have any fans to cheer him on at Silverstone this year (Martin Rickett/PA)

“We currently expect the opening races to be closed events, but hope fans will be able to join our events again when it is safe to do so.

“The health and safety of all involved will continue to be priority number one, with Formula 1 and the FIA having a robust and detailed plan to ensure our races maintain the highest level of safety with strict procedures in place.”

There had been question marks over Silverstone’s place on the calendar due to concerns over a quarantine programme due to be introduced by the UK Government, impacting travellers arriving into the UK from June 8.

However, elite sports events are set to be exempt from the quarantine period, enabling racing to go ahead at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey said: “We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight-race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey (David Davies/PA)

“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula 1.

“While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula 1 will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”