F1 confirms three new races and cancels all Grands Prix in the Americas

Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola have been added to the 2020 Formula One calendar but races in the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil have been cancelled

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Hungarian Grand Prix

Formula One will return to Portugal for the first time in 24 years after Portimao was confirmed as a new host on the 2020 calendar.

Along with the inaugural Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit, F1 will return to the Nurburgring and Imola, the latter of which will be staged over two instead of three days and likely feature just one practice session before qualifying on Saturday.

The three new additions take the total number of confirmed races to 13 after Mugello and Sochi were recently added to the eight initial European races, although it was also announced that the planned Grands Prix in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil have been cancelled.

“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 Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of Formula One.

“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.

“We also 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.”

A former home of both the German Grand Prix and the European Grand Prix, Nurburgring will return to the calendar on 9-11 October, with a two-week gap before the Portuguese Grand Prix takes place for the first time since the final event at Estoril in 1996, which was one by Jacques Villenueve in his debut season with Williams.

The following weekend, F1 will return to Imola for the San Marino Grand Prix, which has not staged a race since it was dropped from the calendar in 2006 after a thrilling battle between Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button which saw the German come out on top, having been a mainstay of the schedule for 26 years.

The latest additions mean that F1 will remain in Europe until at least the 13th round of the season providing all races go ahead as planned, but the sport’s powers that be still harbour hopes of venturing overseas this season as long as coronavirus protocols allow them to do so.

It’s understood that talks remain ongoing for races to take place in both Vietnam - due to stage its inaugural race at the start of April before the Covid-19 pandemic struck - and Malaysia, which could return to the calendar after being dropped in 2017, before heading to the Middle East to end the season in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, with one likely to stage a back-to-back double-header.

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