Photo: Walter G. Arce, Sr./ASP, Inc.

F1 Adds Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola, Loses Four America Venues

By Luis Torres, Staff Writer

The latest batch of updates on the 2020 Formula One World Championship calendar were announced Friday with the addition of three new venues while also losing its four events on the Americas region.

The three confirmed sites being added marks the return of the Nurburgring and Imola to the F1 calendar and a first-time visit to Portimao in Portugal.

After a seven-year absence, the Nurburgring will be hosting the Eifel Grand Prix for the first time on October 9-11, two weeks after the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Two weeks later, the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix after 24 years commences on the weekend of October 23-25 at the Algarve International Circuit.

Then they’ll head to Italy for a third time as the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari will host the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Unlike the rest of the calendar, F1’s return to Imola after 14 years will only be a two-day, taking place October 31 and November 1.

As of right now, it’s now a 13-round campaign with hopes of expanding between 15 to 18 races that’ll wrap-up in the Gulf region in mid-December.

Chairman and CEO of Formula One Chase Carey was pleased to announce the latest venues and gave tremendous credit of the folks who’ve made it possible.

“We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalising our plans for the 2020 season and are excited to welcome Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola to the revised calendar,” said Carey. “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.”

While all the those circuits have provided additional joy due to its unique layouts and rich past, there was still some disappointment.

That’s because four more grand prix events were added to the chopping block with those being United States (Circuit of the Americas), Canadian (Montreal), Mexico City and Brazilian (Interlagos) Grand Prix due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.

Due to this, it’ll be first time in Formula One history they won’t make a single trip to the Americas region, including Brazil which has been a staple on the calendar for 47 consecutive years.

Carey also commented about the matter, hoping they’ll make the trip back in 2021.

“We 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,” said Carey.

Chairman of Circuit of the Americas Bobby Epstein issued a statement following the cancellation of the United States Grand Prix:

“The cancellation is prudent, but painful. After a sold out 2019, advance ticket sales deposits were up nearly 250 percent over the prior year, and our staff was preparing our biggest event ever,” said Epistein.

“We had secured blockbuster performers for the evening shows, and the racing this year is fantastic. I’m disappointed for the fans, COTA employees, our community, and everyone in the Formula One Paddock, as I believe we all look forward to what has become a wonderful annual tradition.

“It’s my hope that the pandemic will soon pass and we will celebrate 2021 with the greatest Formula One United States Grand Prix ever!”

Remaining Formula One World Championship Events as of July 24, 2020

  • British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit – August 2
  • 70th Anniversary Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit – August 9
  • Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – August 16
  • Belgian Grand Prix – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – August 30
  • Italian Grand Prix – Autodromo Nazionale di Monza – September 6
  • Tuscan Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello – September 13
  • Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom – September 27
  • Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring – October 11
  • Portuguese Grand Prix – Autodromo Internacional do Algarve – October 25
  • Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari – November 1

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From the Pacific Northwest, Luis is a University of Idaho graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Ever since watching the 2003 Daytona 500, being involved in auto racing is all he's ever dreamed of doing. He's also covered Idaho Athletics and high school football as both a writer and videographer. Additionally, he spent 2017 writing several racing columns as an independent journalist. Luis does video and photography, and is a fan of Seattle sports, a music critic and a motivator who wants to impact people's lives.