Silverstone roars back with double-header in 18-race plan

Silverstone will host back-to-back grands prix on August 2 and 9 when Formula 1 returns with an eight-race European calendar starting next month.

The FIA has approved plans for the 2020 campaign to begin at Austria’s Red Bull Ring in Spielberg with successive races on July 5 and 12 before the Hungarian Grand Prix takes place on July 19.

Teams will then head to Silverstone for two races – dubbed the British Grand Prix and the Formula One 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, respectively – before further events in Spain on August 16, Belgium on August 30 and Italy on September 6.

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All races are expected to be staged behind closed doors with a minimum number of team personnel at the circuit as part of plans to create as safe an environment as possible for all those taking part.

Delighted: F1 chief Chase Carey.

Participants will also be required to travel on charter flights, social distance as much as possible, and undergo regular testing.

Eight races is the minimum number required to determine a world champion under the sport’s regulations, but F1’s owners Liberty Media and the chief executive of the Formula One Group, Chase Carey, hope this is just the beginning as it looks to announce further races in Asia and the Americas, with the goal of staging up to 18 grands prix this year.

There had been question marks over Silverstone’s place on the calendar due to concerns over a quarantine programme due to be introduced by the Government, impacting travellers arriving into the UK from June 8.

However, elite sports events are set to be exempt from the quarantine period caused by the Covid-19 epidemic, enabling racing to go ahead at the Northamptonshire circuit.