F1 to return to Portugal, rules out Americas events

The Formula 1 motor-racing series has announced plans to race in Portugal for the first time since 1996 as it revealed more details of its revised 2020 calendar.

F1 has also added races at Italy’s Imola circuit and Germany’s Nurburgring but has confirmed that it will “not be possible” to race in Brazil, USA, Mexico and Canada this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Algarve International Circuit in the Portuguese town of Portimao will host its first-ever race from October 23-25. The Nurburgring will host its race from October 9-11, with the Imola grand prix to be held from October 31 to November 1. It is expected that the Imola weekend will only feature one practice session ahead of qualifying and the race.

F1 has not raced at Imola since 2006, while its last race at the Nurburgring was in 2013.

The additions bring the total number of races on the 2020 schedule to 13. Earlier this month, F1 announced that the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit in Italy would host a grand prix for the first time.

F1 has previously stated its desire to stage between 15 and 18 races this year, with the season proposed to end in the Gulf region in mid-December. Local restrictions and safety concerns have however put paid to plans to race in the Americas.

Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of F1, said: “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.

“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.”

F1 has so far held two races in Austria and one in Hungary, and its season will continue this weekend with the first of two events at Silverstone. Further events will then follow in Barcelona and Belgium before back-to-back Italian races, the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi and the recently announced events at the Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola.

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