The 2020 Formula 1season will make more history, revealing its next seven races with returns to historic tracks at the Nurburgring and Imola, as well as the first Grand Prix at Mugello and Portimao.
The schedule continues to be European based with the COVID-19 restrictions continuing to hamper travel.
It means that there will essentially be three Grands Prix in Italy this season.
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After six weeks of racing were jam packed into seven weekends with six-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton again well ahead of the field in the hunt for his record equalling seventh title, the schedule is set to be a little more calm after the next three events.
August 28-30th’s Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on the weekend of September 4-6 will now be followed by the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello on September 11-13.
The Mugello circuit is owned by Ferrari but has never hosted an F1 Grand Prix.
But it has hosted pre-season testing something Aussie F1 star Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to.
“That was a circuit (Mugello) I raced back in 2007 for the first time, and it was my favourite circuit that season,” Ricciardo said, per motorsport.com in late June.
“I loved just the flowing, high-speed corners and I think in F1, it would be amazing. We had a test there, I think it was back in 2012, in F1.
“The cars now, these 2020 cars around there, would be insane. So yeah, I’m certainly excited if that one takes place.”
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F1 race director Michael Masi told Sky Sports F1 he was looking forward to the racing at Mugello, while the sport would return to Italy with the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola on October 30 to November 1.
“After Hungary, I actually went and did a visit to both Mugello and Imola – fantastic circuits. Obviously we‘ve never been to Mugello, but it is a historic venue,” he said.
“The management there are very, very excited about what‘s coming on so I’m really looking forward to it, and Imola has an amazing history within the sport. Both venues are in amazing condition, they’re being very well kept, so we’re looking forward to those.”
Imola was the home of the San Marino GP until 2006.
After the Tuscan Grand Prix, the next three races have two weeks between each race, with the Russian Grand Prix on September 25-27, Eifel GP at the Nurburgring on October 9-11 and the return of the Portuguese GP at Portimao on October 23-25, before Imola the following week.
Masi said it was exciting and could throw up some interesting results.
“Portimao I‘ll be visiting on Tuesday with the circuit management and governing body and having a look there. (We’re) very excited about the three new upcoming events, some of them old-new,” he said.
“(The Nurburgring) will certainly throw up something a little bit different. It will be quite cold, no doubt about that, but that‘s the situation we’re in and it’s exciting to see the calendar evolving.”
The Portuguese Grand Prix hasn’t been run since 1996 but the track at Portimao was opened in 2008.
But Ricciardo has good memories of the track, having wrapped up the F3 championship at the track in 2009.
“I actually have good memories of Portimao,” he said. “It was a circuit I really enjoyed — some good elevation and again quite good, flowing, fast corners. I’m not disappointed if any of these go ahead at all. I would be very excited.”
The season is set to wind up in the Middle East with a race in Bahrain followed by the finale in Abu Dhabi, but F1 bosses are still working out the plans for the remainder of November.
He said the final dates of the season calendar should be finalised “in the next week or two” although promised there would be no scoops on the dates and locations being floated.
“There might be a couple of surprises and something we‘re probably used to as well – that’s being finalised imminently,” Masi said.
F1 UPCOMING SCHEDULE
August 28-30: Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps
September 4-6: Italian Grand Prix – Monza
September 11-13: Tuscan Grand Prix (Italy) – Mugello
September 25-27: Russian Grand Prix – Sochi
October 9-11: Eifel Grand Prix (Germany) – Nurburgring
October 23-25: Portuguese Grand Prix – Portimao
October 30-November 1: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Italy) – Imola