While coronavirus has dominated the headlines, work on the Hanoi Street Circuit has been completed and Chase Carey has presented a new timeline for the Miami Grand Prix. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Formula 1 calendar news!
Coronavirus: China postponed, other races at risk
The headline news from the past month has been the coronavirus’ impact on the Formula 1 calendar. The Chinese Grand Prix has already been postponed. No rescheduled date has yet been agreed, and slotting the race back in to the second half of the season appears to be a difficult task. One option being considered is a compacted two-day event on the weekend between the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.
The 2020 Formula 1 calendar may still be impacted further by the coronavirus outbreak. In the immediate future, the Australian Grand Prix is expected to go ahead, with race promoters insisting that the event will take place as planned. The Bahrain Grand Prix will be the first race in F1 history to take place behind closed doors, as promoters have announced that the race weekend will be a “participants only” event. The inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix also appears to be under threat, as travel restrictions have been imposed on travellers entering the country from Italy. This would make it difficult for the Ferrari and AlphaTauri teams to operate at the event. Follow F1Destinations on Twitter for the latest news on upcoming races.
Imola and Mugello offer to take China's place
Two of Italy’s most famous race tracks have offered to host replacement races in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. First to jump at the opportunity was Imola, the former host of the San Marino Grand Prix. The Imola track holds the FIA Grade 1 status required to host a Formula 1 race, but circuit boss Uberto Selvatico Estense admitted that the bid may be “mission impossible”. It’s also rumoured that the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit is set to lodge an official application to replace the Chinese Grand Prix.
It’s highly unlikely that either of these circuits would be called upon to a host a Grand Prix, not least because Italy has become one of the worst affected areas by the virus. Furthermore, the Chinese round is still expected to re-join the calendar later in the season, which, should a replacement event be added, would increase the calendar to 23 races.
Hanoi Street Circuit complete
The race may be in doubt, but the good news is that construction work at the Hanoi Street Circuit has been completed. The pit straight was the final section of track to be finished. Temporary structures, such as grandstands, continue to be worked on ahead of the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, currently scheduled April 3-5. It was confirmed in February that Porsche Carrera Cup Asia will be joining the Thailand Super Series on the support bill at the Vietnam Grand Prix. Read more in the Vietnam Grand Prix Travel Guide.
Good and bad news for the Miami Grand Prix
Another month has passed and there has been both good and bad news for the Miami Grand Prix. The good news is that the event overcame local opposition in a crucial vote by commissioners. The result of the vote was a 6-6 tie, but it means that a circuit can be built on the site of the Hard Rock Stadium. Despite this, Chase Carey has told German press that a 2021 Miami Grand Prix may be an optimistic target, and the event could yet be five to ten years away.
The bad news for Liberty Media is that the local opposition are still making their voices heard by filing a lawsuit. Home owners in the area are looking to sue Formula 1 and the Miami Dolphins, claiming that a race in the area “will, to a certainty, experience levels of noise…that will disturb their peace, quiet and comfort, disrupt normal speech, and consequently seriously degrade their quality of life.”