After several months of dishevelled negotiations with event promoters, Formula One has unveiled its final 2020 calendar with Turkey’s Istanbul Park making a welcome return after an eight-year hiatus.
Turkey makes up the first of four more races confirmed on Tuesday by F1 and the FIA which sees the 17-race season conclude with an expected Middle East leg. Two races will follow in Bahrain before the finale goes ahead from Abu Dhabi on December 13.
Turkey now becomes the fifth new circuit to be added to the calendar along with Imola, Nurburgring, Portimao and Mugello.
Casting back to the opening round in Austria, an immense European portion of the calendar was scheduled to minimise the amount of travel by teams, drivers and race officials.
Races in North and South America were cancelled earlier in the season while the announcement of the final four races confirms that Asia will not host a round of the world championship in 2020. The 17-round calendar now becomes the sport’s smallest since 2009.
Sochi and Abu Dhabi are the only venues to remain in their traditional second half of the season slots with one-off races in Italy and Germany making up most of the latter stages of the calendar.
Turkey has been absent from the F1 scene since 2011 when Sebastian Vettel claimed the last victory to date at Istanbul Park then driving for Red Bull.
The circuit is a fan favourite especially for its anti-clockwise direction and famed quadruple apex Turn 8 which wowed drivers over when first unveiled in 2005.
“We are proud to announce that Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be part of our 2020 season,” said F1 boss Chase Carey.
“This year has presented Formula 1 and the world with an unprecedented challenge and we want to pay tribute to everyone across Formula 1, the FIA, the teams, and our partners who have made this possible.
“While we are all disappointed that we have not been able to return to some of our planned races this year we are confident our season has started well and will continue to deliver plenty of excitement with traditional, as well as new, races that will entertain all our fans.”
The next round of the world championship will be the Belgian Grand Prix on September 28-30.
2020 F1 calendar:
|Red Bull Ring, Austria
|Red Bull Ring, Austria
|Istanbul Park, Turkey
|Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi