Organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix, due to take place mid-June, say they must make a decision on whether to postpone or cancel their race by the Easter weekend of April 11/12.
The first eight races of the F1 season have been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. One of those, the Monaco Grand Prix, has been cancelled outright at the request of organisers.
That leaves the Montreal race of June 14 as the provisional start date on the calendar. Unlike the two races which were supposed to precede it, the street races in Monaco and Azerbaijan, Canada is a semi-permanent circuit which requires less lead time to construct.
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« We would have to make a decision by Easter weekend [11/12 April], » Canadian GP promoter Francois Dumontier said. « If the situation has improved by then, we could have the site ready on schedule. »
He added: « We’re in a better position than Monaco or Baku where they race through the city streets and have to build a track. We have the track. We’re optimistic but we also know things change by the hour, so we’re also realistic. »
F1 CEO Chase Carey said earlier this week he still hopes to put on 15-18 races in 2020, although the race calendar is likely to be radically different to the one released ahead of the season. The proviso for any race going ahead in June will be a relaxation of travel restrictions from Europe, where all 10 of F1’s teams are based.
While Dumontier will look to postpone the race rather than cancel in the case it cannot go ahead on the original date, he says the options for an alternative date later in the year are limited.
« We must completely forget the current F1 calendar. Countries will change dates. We will have to make certain concessions, or accommodations.
« Obviously, as we know, I will not be able to present the Canadian Grand Prix in November in Montreal. It has to be within the months that allow it… we would be talking about the end of summer, or the beginning of fall [autumn]. »
The state of the F1 calendar
March 15 – Australian GP (cancelled)
March 22 – Bahrain GP (postponed)
April 3 – Vietnam GP (postponed)
April 19– Chinese GP (postponed)
May 3– Dutch GP (postponed)
May 10 – Spanish GP (postponed)
May 24 – Monaco GP (cancelled)
June 7 – Azerbaijan GP (postponed)
The rest of the calendar as it was scheduled, which remains provisional and is likely to be subject to drastic changes:
June 14 -Canadian GP
June 28 – French GP
July 5 – Austrian GP
July 19 – British GP
Aug. 2 – Hungarian GP
Aug. 30 – Belgian GP
Sept. 6 – Italian GP
Sept. 20 – Singapore GP
Sept. 27 – Russian GP
Oct. 11 – Japanese GP
Oct. 25 – U.S. GP
Nov. 1 Mexican GP
Nov. 15 Brazilian GP
Nov. 29 – Abu Dhabi GP