Formula 1 could save the 2020 season by running into JANUARY with two-day weekends, claims Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto
- Mattia Binotto, Ferrari boss, claims it is plausible to run up to three races in January
- Plan would see two-day weekends with the Friday workout deleted
- The first eight races have already been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
- Canada is now due to host season opening on June 14, but this is also under threat
- Season was set to host a record 22 races, but now focuses on 15-18 Grand Prix
- F1 needs eight GPs for a valid season and this year ends in November
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Formula 1 could shorten Grand Prix weekends and race to January if that helps save a season that has been ravaged by the corona virus, according to Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto.
The opening race in Australia on March 15 was canceled and the showcase of the Monaco Grand Prix in May was also dropped, the first time since 1954 that it was not on the championship calendar.
Another six laps have been delayed, and more are expected to follow with countries in lockdown, but Formula 1 bosses have said they hope to get back on track in the European summer with a shortened season of 15 to 18 races.
Mattia Binotto is open to up to three F1 races in January to complete the 2020 season
Binotto told Sky Sports Italia that the teams had given Formula 1 powers complete freedom to do what was necessary to have a championship.
“We are in constant dialogue,” he said. “I feel, together with the other team leaders, that these are decisive moments.
“We have decided to give (Formula 1 Chairman Chase) Carey and the FIA complete freedom to set a timetable for us to race again as soon as possible, we are ready on our side.
‘We assess different ideas; races closer together, maybe two or three races in January, given the possibility to cancel the (Friday) training. ‘
Formula 1 requires a minimum of eight races for a valid championship and the 2020 season is currently ending in Abu Dhabi on November 29.
The famous Monaco Grand Prix is the most talked-about race on the calendar and is one of eight Grand Prix postponed already after the corona virus outbreak
SEASON F1 2020
March 15 – Australia (Melbourne)
March 22 – Bahrain (Sakhir)
April 5 – Vietnam (Hanoi)
April 19 – China (Shanghai)
May 3 – Holland (Zandvoort)
May 10 – Spain (Barcelona)
May 24 – Monaco (Monte Carlo)
June 7 – Azerbaijan (Baku)
June 14 – Canada (Montreal)
Jun 28 – France (Paul Ricard)
July 5 – Austria (Spielberg)
July 19 – Great Britain (Silverstone)
Aug 2 – Hungary (Budapest)
Aug 30 – Belgium (Spa)
Sep 6 – Italy (Monza)
September 20 – Singapore (Marina Bay)
Sep 27 – Russia (Sochi)
Oct 11 – Japan (Suzuka)
October 25 – USA (Austin)
Nov 1 – Mexico (Mexico City)
Nov 15 – Brazil (Interlagos)
Nov 29 – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)
Bold indicates delayed race
The sport normally pauses until the pre-season launches and tests in February, but as cars now remain the same in 2021 and major rule changes are delayed for a year to save money, that shouldn’t be necessary anyway.
“If we can guarantee a more complete 2020 World Championship because of this, with the next season only starting in March, there is great availability for that,” said Binotto.
The 2020 Championship was originally intended to have a record 22 races, with Mercedes Lewis Hamilton hoping to match Michael Schumacher’s record seven titles and surpassing Ferrari’s unprecedented 91 wins. Hamilton has achieved 84 wins so far.
The Brit can continue to wait for both accounts if the sport is unable to put together enough races.
Former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Friday that he would be very surprised if the sport managed to host even a shortened season of 15-18 races.