All Formula 1 teams are set to agree to a mandatory summer break which would push back the beginning of the 2020 season, according to reports emerging from the paddock.
The season opener was set to take place last week in Australia, but after a McLaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus, which has now impacted every major sport in the world, the decision was eventually made to cancel the race, along with Bahrain which was due to take place this upcoming weekend.
China and Vietnam were postponed previously, with the race in the Netherlands set to follow soon.
F1 officials have been attempting to figure out how to fit an already-busy race schedule into a condensed amount of time, with one idea being to cancel the summer break which usually takes place in August.
Reporters, including Jennie Gow of BBC 5 Live and Chris Medland, have revealed that talks are ongoing to start the season at the end of April.
Gow wrote on Twitter:
“Multiple sources tell me #F1 summer break to take place over next 6 weeks (from March 23rd - end of April). Teams able to select 3 weeks within that time to shut down. Paves the way for wall to wall racing when #COVID2019 is sorted. Some race team members v angry about this.”
Medland, meanwhile, said:
“Teams are all set to agree on a mandatory three-week shutdown starting next week that must be taken by the end of April, replacing the summer break.
“Opens up calendar flexibility, and three weeks avoids those in self-isolation right now losing out as much, but it could mean a chunk/all of holiday lost as team members are forced to take it now by the shutdown.
“That bit isn't clear for all. Plus their only break is to be spent when the world is on lockdown, and then likely face a brutal season schedule with limited holiday days.”
Should this plan be put into action, the place of the Dutch GP at Zandvoort in the schedule could be saved, with it set to take place on the 3rd May.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.