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F1 axes all four races in the Americas; Nürburgring, Portimão, Imola added to calendar

F1 axes all four races in the Americas; Nürburgring, Portimão, Imola added to calendar

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F1 axes all four races in the Americas; Nürburgring, Portimão, Imola added to calendar

F1 axes all four races in the Americas; Nürburgring, Portimão, Imola added to calendar

Formula 1 has added races at the Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola to this year's calendar after being forced to axe all four events in the Americas due to Covid-19 concerns.

The three new dates are: Nürburgring - October 9-11; Portimão - October 23-25; Imola - October 31-November 1.

F1 is to experiment with a two-day format at Imola, that returns to the calendar for the first time in 14 years, with the weekend changes to be confirmed by the FIA in due course.

As for Portimão, that will be hosting its maiden race since the circuit opened in 2008, F1 has confirmed its intention to allow a limited number of fan, which is anticipated to be in the tens of thousands across the weekend.

For Portugal as a host country, it will be the first time it has welcomed F1 since 1996 when Estoril last staged a grand prix, while the Nürburgring has not held a race since 2013.

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The decision of F1 to remain in Europe through October, despite the high probability of inclement weather at all three circuits, is due to the fact that the Canadian, United States, Mexico City and Brazilian Grand Prix have now all been officially cancelled for this year.

For the US, Mexican and Brazilian races, in particular, there remain high infection rates in all three countries which preclude a visit, while Canada still has travel restrictions in place.

F1's need to plan and provide the teams and race organisers with as much lead time as possible to attend the races meant it has had no choice but to organise alternative venues.

F1 CEO Chase Carey said: “We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalising our plans for the 2020 season and are excited to welcome Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola to the revised calendar.

"We want to thank the promoters, the teams, and the FIA for their full support in our efforts to bring our fans exciting racing this season during an unprecedented time.

"We also want to pay tribute to our incredible partners in the Americas and look forward to being back with them next season when they will once again be able to thrill millions of fans around the world.”

With the three new additions, F1 now has 13 confirmed races for this year, with the likelihood the calendar will run to a minimum of 17.

At present, it is in talks to stage a Far East double-header with races in Vietnam and Malaysia on November 15 and 22, in light of Chinese GP organisers being unable to stage a race this year.

Although unconfirmed, it is almost certain F1 will conclude with a triple-header in the Middle East, with two races in Bahrain on December 6 and 13, and the traditional curtain-closer in Abu Dhabi on December 20.

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