2020 Formula One World Championship
|2020 FIA Formula One
FIA Formula 2 Championship
FIA Formula 3 Championship
The 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship is a planned motor racing championship for Formula One cars which is due to be the 71st running of the Formula One World Championship. The season will mark the 70th anniversary of the first Formula One season. The championship is recognised by the governing body of international motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Drivers and teams are scheduled to compete for the titles of World Drivers' Champion and World Constructors' Champion respectively.
Originally due to start in March, the start of the season was postponed until July in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally due to be contested over a record 22 Grands Prix, but the exact number is now uncertain as some races have been cancelled and there is no certainty that all postponed races can be held on later dates.
Red Bull GmbH, the parent company of Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, renamed Toro Rosso as "Scuderia AlphaTauri." The team uses the constructor name "AlphaTauri." The name is derived from Red Bull's AlphaTauri fashion brand.
After a year's absence, Esteban Ocon returned to racing in Formula One after signing a contract with Renault, replacing Nico Hülkenberg. Robert Kubica left Williams at the end of the 2019 championship and joined Alfa Romeo Racing as a reserve driver. Nicholas Latifi, the 2019 Formula 2 Championship runner-up, replaced Kubica at Williams.
Twenty-two Grands Prix were due to be run as part of the 2020 World Championship. The COVID-19 pandemic is causing frequent revisions to the calendar. Currently, three races have been cancelled and seven have been postponed. Venues in Austria and Britain signed contracts to hold two races on consecutive weekends, but implementing this depends on the development of government regulation related to the pandemic. The length of each race is the minimum number of laps that exceeds a total distance of 305 km (189.5 mi).
|Round||Grand Prix||Circuit||Race date|
|1||Austrian Grand Prix||Red Bull Ring, Spielberg||5 July|
|2||British Grand Prix||Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone||19 July|
|3||Hungarian Grand Prix||Hungaroring, Mogyoród||2 August|
|4||Belgian Grand Prix||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot||30 August[b]|
|5||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Monza||6 September|
|6||Singapore Grand Prix||Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore||20 September|
|7||Russian Grand Prix||Sochi Autodrom, Sochi||27 September|
|8||Japanese Grand Prix||Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka||11 October|
|9||United States Grand Prix||Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas||25 October|
|10||Mexico City Grand Prix||Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City||1 November|
|11||Brazilian Grand Prix||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo||15 November|
|12||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi||29 November|
The following ten rounds were included on the original calendar published by the World Motorsport Council, but were later removed due to cancellation or pending rescheduling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
|Grand Prix||Circuit||Original date||Status||New date|
|Australian Grand Prix||Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne||15 March||Cancelled||TBA[c]|
|Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir||22 March||Postponed||TBA|
|Vietnamese Grand Prix||Hanoi Street Circuit, Hanoi||5 April||Postponed||TBA|
|Chinese Grand Prix||Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai||19 April||Postponed||TBA|
|Dutch Grand Prix||Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort||3 May||Postponed||TBA|
|Spanish Grand Prix||Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló||10 May||Postponed||TBA|
|Monaco Grand Prix||Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo||24 May||Cancelled||N/A|
|Azerbaijan Grand Prix||Baku City Circuit, Baku||7 June||Postponed||TBA|
|Canadian Grand Prix||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal||14 June||Postponed||TBA|
|French Grand Prix||Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet||28 June||Cancelled||N/A|
After purchasing the commercial rights to the sport from CVC Capital Partners in January 2017, Liberty Media announced plans to expand the Formula One calendar using a concept they termed "destination races" and modelled on the Singapore Grand Prix. Under the "destination races" model, Grands Prix would be established in or near key tourist destinations and integrate racing, entertainment and social functions with the aim of making the sport more accessible and appealing to a wider audience. Several countries and venues announced plans to bid for a Grand Prix, with two bids being successful:
- The Vietnamese Grand Prix was announced as the first new race created under Liberty's management. The race was given a provisional date of April 2020 and is planned to take place in the capital Hanoi on the Hanoi Street Circuit, but was later postponed.
- The Dutch Grand Prix is due to be revived, with the race taking place at the Circuit Zandvoort. The 2020 race would mark the first time the Dutch Grand Prix has been run since 1985.
Liberty Media initially expected that the 2020 calendar would consist of twenty-one Grands Prix and that any new races would come at the expense of existing events, but later negotiated an agreement with the teams to allow up to twenty-two Grands Prix. Several further changes were made between the 2019 and 2020 calendars, with the German Grand Prix discontinued and the Mexican Grand Prix rebranded as the "Mexico City Grand Prix".
Drivers who participate in free practice sessions are eligible for additional FIA Super Licence points. Any driver who completes a minimum 100 km (62 mi) during a free practice session receives an additional Super Licence point on the condition that they do not commit a driving infraction. Drivers may only accrue ten Super Licence points per year from free practice sessions.
As a result of the expanded calendar, the two pre-season tests due to take place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya were reduced in length from four days to three days each, whilst the two in-season tests that took place at Bahrain International Circuit and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2019 have been discontinued. Teams were no longer allowed to hide their cars during testing. The amount of time in which car mechanics are not allowed to work on the car has been extended from eight to nine hours.
In order to reduce the risk of punctures, the last 50 mm (2.0 in) of the front wing can no longer contain any metal. Brake ducts can no longer be outsourced and must be made and designed by the team. The amount of fuel that can be outside of the fuel tank has been reduced from 2 litres (3.5 imp pt) to 250 millilitres (0.44 imp pt). The level of driver aids for race starts was decreased.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit
The season was heavily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with an announcement prior to the start of the championship that the Chinese Grand Prix would be postponed. Italian-based teams Ferrari and AlphaTauri expressed concern about the spread of the disease and its effect on the championship. As Italy suffered one of the worst outbreaks of the virus, both teams were concerned about the ability of their staff to leave the quarantine zone established in northern Italy and to enter host nations. Pre-season testing in Barcelona proceeded as planned, with all teams and drivers completing the six days of testing.
Ross Brawn, the managing director of the sport, announced that Grands Prix would not go ahead if a team were blocked from entering a host nation, but that events could go ahead if a team voluntarily chose not to enter a host nation. In early March organisers of the Bahrain Grand Prix stated that the event would be "participants-only" and that no spectators would be allowed.
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was expected to go ahead and all teams and drivers arrived at the venue as planned. Three days before the race was due to take place, McLaren announced their withdrawal from the event after a team member tested positive for the virus. This led to the Grand Prix being cancelled altogether the following morning. Later that day, it was announced that the Bahrain Grand Prix would be postponed rather than closed to spectators, as would the inaugural Vietnamese Grand Prix. Formula One and the FIA released a joint statement saying that they "expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May" but that this timeline "will be regularly reviewed". On 19 March, the FIA announced that the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix had all been postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic. In the statement, the FIA said they now expect to begin the season "as soon as it is safe to do so after May" and that the situation would continue to be monitored. The organisers of the Monaco race, Automobile Club de Monaco, clarified that the race had been cancelled. This means that Formula One would not race in Monaco for the first time since 1954. Four days later, organisers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix announced that the race had been postponed.
In early April organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix announced the race's postponement. Later in the month, the French Grand Prix organisers confirmed that the race would not be held in 2020, and the managing director of Silverstone Circuit stated that should the British Grand Prix go ahead, it would be without spectators. In May, organisers of the Hungarian Grand Prix announced that their race would use the same model. The sport's plans to resume competition called for a ban on team motorhomes and a rigid testing regime to stop any outbreak of the virus.
The annual summer break, where factories shut down for two weeks, was brought forward from August to March and April. Teams will nominate a three-week period to close with the aim of making room for races later in the year. At the end of March it was announced that for the first time the factory shut down would additionally apply to power unit manufacturers. The factory shut down period was later extended to a total of nine weeks for competitors and seven weeks for power unit manufacturers.
In March teams agreed that the 2020 Championship could run into early 2021 to ensure the running of as many races as possible. Such a move would also ensure that eight Grands Prix could be held, thereby meeting the minimum number of races needed for the season to qualify as a World Championship. Ross Brawn later suggested that a rescheduled calendar of 18 or 19 races would be possible should racing begin in July, and that the opening round "is most likely to be in Europe", potentially without spectators. He also raised the possibility of Grand Prix events being reduced to two days in order to ease pressure on logistical operations. However, Alfa Romeo Racing managing director Frédéric Vasseur cautioned that a condensed calendar could escalate the costs of competing and put smaller teams at risk of financial collapse. This was reiterated by other teams, who pointed out that the race sanctioning fees paid by event organisers contributed to the prize money awarded to all teams at the end of the year. This money is awarded proportionally based on the teams' World Constructors' Championship position and forms a significant part of a team's budget for the upcoming year. With fewer races and the prize structure remaining fixed, teams were concerned that they would suffer a significant financial loss. In a statement in late April, Formula One CEO Chase Carey announced that the intention is to begin the season on 5 July and that the target is to hold between 15 and 18 races overall.
Results and standingsEdit
|Round||Grand Prix||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Winning constructor||Report||Ref.|
|—||Australian Grand Prix||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[c]||Report|||
|—||Bahrain Grand Prix||Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic||Report|||
|—||Vietnamese Grand Prix||Report|||
|—||Chinese Grand Prix||Report|||
|—||Dutch Grand Prix||Report|||
|—||Spanish Grand Prix||Report|||
|—||Monaco Grand Prix||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic||N/A|||
|—||Azerbaijan Grand Prix||Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic||Report|||
|—||Canadian Grand Prix||Report|||
|—||French Grand Prix||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic||N/A|||
|1||Austrian Grand Prix||Report|
|2||British Grand Prix||Report|
|3||Hungarian Grand Prix||Report|
|4||Belgian Grand Prix||Report|
|5||Italian Grand Prix||Report|
|6||Singapore Grand Prix||Report|
|7||Russian Grand Prix||Report|
|8||Japanese Grand Prix||Report|
|9||United States Grand Prix||Report|
|10||Mexico City Grand Prix||Report|
|11||Brazilian Grand Prix||Report|
|12||Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Report|
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- The Australian Grand Prix was cancelled, but organisers announced their intention to reschedule the race.
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