Formula 1 have announced that it will have a record 22-race season in 2020.
The sport’s calendar, announced on Thursday before the resumption of the current season in Belgium, features two new races in the Netherlands and Vietnam, while Germany has been lost from this year’s 21-race schedule.
The season begins in Australia on 15 March and ends in Abu Dhabi on 29 November. The British Grand Prix is on 19 July, a week later than this year.
Squeezing in the extra race has meant seven ‘double-headers’ – where races are held on consecutive weekends.
Bahrain follows a week after Australia, and the other events a week apart are the Netherlands and Spain on the first two weekends in May; Azerbaijan and Canada in early June; France and Austria; Belgium and Italy; Singapore and Russia; and the USA and Mexico.
F1’s bosses have said their intention is to potentially extend the calendar to as many as 24 races in the future, principally to drive revenue. But teams have reservations about that, both in terms of the demands on their staff and as a potential risk to the exclusivity of the sport.
Teams had to give permission to extend 2020 beyond 21 races, as that is defined as a maximum in the sport’s rules.
Beyond 2020, the situation is less clear, as the regulations have not yet been defined.
Talks about changes to the sport have been going on for two years but so far only a budget cap of $175m a year – with several exclusions, including the salaries of drivers and the three top executives – has been agreed.
Teams and F1 have until the end of October to finalise the new rules, having already been forced to extend the previous deadline of the end of June.
Grand Prix calendar 2022
Australia (15 March), Bahrain (22 March), Vietnam (5 April), China (9 April), Netherlands (3 May), Spain (10 May), Monaco (24 May), Azerbaijan (7 June), Canada (14 June), France (28 June), Austria (5 July), Great Britain (19 July), Hungary (2 August), Belgium (30 August), Italy (6 September), Singapore (20 September), Russia (27 September), Japan (11 October), US (25 October) Mexico (1 November), Brazil (15 November), Abu Dhabi (29 November)