Formula One Confirms First Eight Races

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The Austrian Grand Prix is set to host the opening round of the Formula One season in July. (Steve Etherington photo)

PARIS – Formula One officials have confirmed the season will begin at Austria’s Red Bull Ring next month as part of a revised calendar.

Officials revealed the first eight races of the revised calendar, which includes two races in Austria and the United Kingdom, on Tuesday. The Formula One season was originally slated to begin in Australia in February, but the COVID-19 outbreak forced officials to postpone the start to the season.

A number of events have been postponed or outright canceled, including the historic Monaco Grand Prix.

The season will now begin with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, followed by a second race at the track one week later on July 12.  The Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring will followed on July 19, followed by a pair of races at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom on Aug. 2 and Aug. 9.

The Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will be held on Aug. 16, followed by the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on Aug. 30 and the Italian Grand Prix at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Sept. 6.

Additional races will be confirmed by Formula One officials in the coming weeks, with the goal of hosting somewhere between 15 and 18 events. The opening eight rounds of the schedule are expected to be closed to fans due to the continued COVID-19 situation, though officials hope to open venues up to spectators before the end of the season.

“In the past weeks we have been working tirelessly with all our partners, the FIA and the teams to create a revised opening 2020 calendar allowing us to restart racing in the safest possible way,” said Formula One CEO Chase Carey. “We are pleased to be able to set out our opening eight race calendar today and look forward to publishing our full calendar in the coming weeks.

“I want to thank every promoter and partner for their support and ongoing commitment to Formula One. While we currently expect the season to commence without fans at our races we hope that over the coming months the situation will allow us to welcome them back once it is safe to do, but we know the return of Formula One will be a welcome boost to sports fans around the world.”