F1 Calendar News: July 2019 Round-Up

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Australia and Great Britain sign contract extensions, while Spain could be handed an unexpected reprieve for 2020. Elsewhere, tickets for the new 2020 races have gone on sale and Hockenheim seeks a post-2020 deal. Here’s a round-up of all the Formula 1 calendar news from July 2019!

Spanish Grand Prix saved for 2020?

The Spanish Grand Prix looks set to be handed an unexpected reprieve for the 2020 season. After a reported boost in funding from the Catalan government, which would see hosting fees covered for the short-term future, the circuit released a statement saying that negotiations with F1 were “still open”. The event now appears to have been saved for 2020, with a one-year contract extension expected to be announced soon.

A 22 race calendar?

Chase Carey had previously stated that the 2020 calendar would be 21 rounds, with two current races missing out on a slot. However, with the Spanish Grand Prix seemingly saved, the calendar now looks set to expand to 22 races next year.

Team bosses met over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend to discuss the calendar expansion, with Toto Wolff commenting that the move was approved. As a result, next year’s calendar is expected to include more back-to-back races than in 2019. It also means that the teams will have to complete an extra race without being given allowance for an extra engine.

Silverstone signs new deal

Formula 1 will continue to visit Silverstone, with a new deal which will keep the British Grand Prix on the calendar until at least 2024. Contract negotiations had been delayed by Liberty Media’s interest in a London race, but the new deal is believed to protect Silverstone, should a Grand Prix in the British capital take place.

The 2020 British Grand Prix has a provisional date of 17 – 19 July, though a late-June date has also been mentioned as a potential replacement. Organisers are keen to avoid a clash with other sporting events, with the 2019 race having taken place on the same day as the Wimbledon final and the Cricket World Cup final. The British Grand Prix is not expected to form part of a back-to-back weekend in 2020, amid fears of complications from a no-deal Brexit.

Melbourne extends contract

The Australian Grand Prix has also signed a new two-year contract extension, with the event now set to remain at Albert Park until at least 2025. The circuit had previously signed an extension through to 2023 back in 2015. After the deal, circuit organisers said they were considering making changes to the track layout, which has seen a distinct lack of overtaking in recent seasons.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that the date for the 2020 Australian Grand Prix had been set. The Melbourne race will take place on March 15 in its usual season-opening calendar slot. Looking to attend next year’s race? Start planning your trip with our travel guide!

Tickets for new 2020 races on sale

Tickets for both of 2020’s new races went on sale in July. It’s reported that over a million fans applied for tickets to the Dutch Grand Prix – though the venue will only be able to hold 105,000 people per day. Ticket prices for the Zandvoort race are comparable to prices at other European venues, with 3-day General Admission tickets priced at €140 EUR – the same price as seen at the 2019 Spanish and German Grands Prix.

Meanwhile, at the Vietnam Grand Prix, 3-day General Admission tickets are priced at just $75 – which would rank as the second cheapest ticket price all season when compared to the cost of tickets for this year’s races, second only to China. This level of ticket – the cheapest available – costs half of the average monthly income for Hanoi locals. 3D images of how the circuit is expected to look were released earlier in the month.

Other news in brief:

  • With his home race at Hockenheim expected to fall off the calendar in 2020, Sebastian Vettel has urged F1 to keep historic venues on the calendar instead of chasing more financially beneficial deals.
  • On the subject of Hockenheim, organisers are seeking a deal for the German Grand Prix to return after 2020 – and say they’re open to F1 visiting the track in alternate years.
  • The Killers will headline at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December. The American rock band, who previously headlined at the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix, will take to the stage after the Abu Dhabi race on December 1. Tickets are still available for the event.
  • It was reported earlier this year that the Italian Grand Prix had been saved, with an agreement in principal reached between F1 and the organisers. The agreement was expected to be formally signed in July, with the announcement of a 5-year deal coming soon after the summer break.
  • Formula 1 is still interested in a Miami Grand Prix, with bosses now looking at a new location which would bring less disruption to locals.

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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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