F1's revised 2020 schedule explained as 17 races confirmed
Answering some of the key questions about the remainder of the 2020 season after final four races were added until mid-December
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 26/08/20 10:57am
What's the latest announcement?
F1 has confirmed the venues that will form the final four rounds of the reworked 2020 season.
Having previously announced 13 races up to the return of Imola on November 1, the calendar will be completed by the first Turkish GP in nine years (November 15) followed by two races on consecutive weeks in Bahrain (November 29 and December 6).
- Final races announced - including Istanbul Park's return
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The season will then conclude in Abu Dhabi on December 13, two weeks later than originally planned in the latest finish to a season for 57 years.
How many races is that in total now?
Seventeen. That's five fewer than the number originally scheduled for 2020 before the global pandemic, but still a calendar length in keeping with many full seasons in the 1990s and 2000s.
Will any more be added?
While it wasn't made explicit in F1's latest announcement, it is understood that 17 races will be the final total for 2020, all being well.
China was officially cancelled for this year on Tuesday and although Vietnam - the one race left on the 'postponed' list - hasn't been formally called off yet, official confirmation on the delay of its debut to 2021 is expected soon.
What's being said?
It's fair to say that when F1 chairman Chase Carey first stated back in late March, when the global scale and fast-changing nature of the coronavirus crisis was first truly being realised, that the sport was still optimistic of a season of between 15 and 18 races this year, few truly envisaged that target being hit.
However, with F1 and the FIA having diligently worked in the five months since to construct a schedule, react to global changes and put in place the extensive list of measures to return to racing safely, the sport appears set for a season that would have been considered normal in length not too long ago.
There has been plenty of goodwill for the additions too. The return to Turkey's Istanbul Park, a popular new circuit when it joined the calendar in 2005, has been warmly received.
Turkey's return means there are now five circuits on the reshuffled calendar that were not originally planned for this year.
The first of those is Mugello in Tuscany, which will stage Ferrari's 1000th race on September 13 a week after Italy's usual Monza grand prix.
After the Russian GP in Sochi at the end of September, F1 then begins a run of four new additions.
Germany's Nurburging returns after a seven-year absence, before F1 heads to Portugal for the first time in 24 years and a GP debut for the Algarve International Circuit on the outskirts of Portimao.
That's followed in a back-to-back with a third Italian circuit - Imola - with the race adopting what stands as a unique two-day format. That'll see one 90-minute practice and the usual qualifying session on Saturday, followed by the Grand Prix on Sunday.
It's then back to the standard three-day format for Turkey two weeks later and the concluding three rounds in the Middle East. By December 13 at the very latest - 12 days before Christmas - we'll know who 2020's world champion driver and team are.
When will fans return to races?
While any plans will inevitably remain flexible with local race chiefs and government authorities, F1 has said that some of the forthcoming events will be "open to a limited number of fans".
Russia has already said its race in Sochi could have around 30,000 fans present, while the boss of Portimao's track, Paulo Pinheiro, recently told Sky F1 that hospitality would be running at its maiden October event.