F1 Calendar News: August 2019 Round-Up

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The provisional 2020 calendar is revealed, Mexico signs a new 3-year deal and Saudi Arabia could soon be a fixture on the schedule. Here’s a round up of all the F1 calendar news stories from August 2019!

2020 Calendar Revealed

The provisional 2020 Formula 1 calendar was finally revealed ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. The schedule features a record 22 races, seven back-to-back weekends, plus new races in Vietnam and the Netherlands. Read more about the calendar here. As we reported last month, the Spanish Grand Prix stays on the 2020 calendar following a boost in funding from the Catalan government. A new one-year deal for the event was announced earlier in the month.

There are mixed feelings on a 22-race calendar. While Guenther Steiner sees no downside to the expanded schedule, Claire Williams is less in favour of anything over 21 rounds.

Mexico signs new contract

The ever-popular Mexican Grand Prix keeps its place on the 2020 calendar after organisers signed a new 3-year deal. The new deal sees the event remain on the schedule until 2022, and from next year the official event title will change to “Mexico City Grand Prix”, highlighting the support from the Government of Mexico City.

It is believed that “privately-raised financial backing” has secured the future of the race. The Mexican Grand Prix had suffered an uncertain future following the withdrawal of government funding in February.

Saudi Arabia for 2022?

At the start of the month, The Times exclusively revealed plans for a Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. The report was later followed with more details from RaceFans, who say the track will be longer than the 7km Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. The ambitious project, which will see cars pass under an aquarium and a rollercoaster, is unlikely to be completed before 2022. A race in the politically-questionable Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be controversial, but Liberty Media are keen to expand F1’s global reach.

Saudi Arabia joined the Formula E calendar in 2018. The street course in Ad Diriyah, on the outskirts of capital city, Riyadh, will host the opening two rounds of the 2019/20 season this November.

US Grand Prix ticket sales on the rise

The Circuit of the Americas made a bold claim that Formula 1 will race at the Texas track for as long as the circuit exists. Last year, the U.S. Grand Prix was the fourth best-attended race of the season, and ticket sales for the 2019 event are already up on last year’s figure. COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein says that the circuit is already looking at adding new grandstands for 2020, explaining that the F1 Netflix series Drive to Survive has been one factor responsible for increased ticket sales.

Meanwhile, Chase Carey once again expressed a desire for a second U.S. race, reiterating that F1 is eyeing new races in “destination cities, like Las Vegas or Miami”.

Other news in brief:

  • F1 attendance figures have been on the rise so far in 2019. Read our detailed report of this year’s ticket sales so far here.
  • São Paulo’s governor João Doria has said that Formula 1 will not leave Interlagos, despite rumours of a new track in Rio being lined up to host the event in the years to come.
  • Tickets for next year’s Australian Grand Prix, the 25th to be held at Albert Park, went on sale in August. Planning a trip for 2020? Check out our guide!
  • Tickets for the 2020 British Grand Prix are also now on sale. Next year’s race will be held on 19 July. Helpful advice on purchasing tickets can be found here.

What do you think about the 22-race 2020 calendar? Would you be happy to see a race in Saudi Arabia? Leave a comment below!

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About the Author ()

Nicky Haldenby is a Formula One writer from Scarborough, England. Having grown up with F1 often on the TV on Sunday afternoons, Nicky has been following the sport avidly since 2006. After graduating from University in 2015 with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature, he founded his own F1 website and now regularly writes articles about both the sport's history and current affairs.

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