Formula One teams are discussing the prospect of holding two-day grands prix and extending the 2020 season until January 2021.

Chase Carey, the CEO of F1, is still hoping to hold 15 to 18 races this season once normality has returned after the coronavirus pandemic.

The first eight races of the campaign are either postponed or cancelled with more likely to follow as lockdown restrictions remain widespread.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto thinks teams will be as flexible as possible to find a solution, including two-day race weekends with practice held on a Saturday.

"We are engaged in constant dialogue," Binotto told Sky Italia. "I have felt, along with the other team principals, that these are crucial moments. 

"With regards to the timetable, we have given Carey and the FIA the freedom to define the calendar as they need to under these conditions.

"We can also have two-day weekends, with free practice moved to Saturday morning, so that we can meet the logistical needs in case of grands prix being close together.

"In addition, the current shutdown leaves room for the possibility of being able to compete in August if there are conditions to be able to do so."

Binotto would be willing to race into 2021 if it meant something closer to a full championship could take place.

He, his drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, as well as the whole Ferrari team, are working remotely.

"These are all places where we, as a team, need to ensure maximum availability," Binotto said about extending the season.

"If this [move] allows us to guarantee a more complete 2020 world championship, with the following season not starting until March, there is great availability for that.

"We started [remote] smart-working right after Australia. Now we're in FIA shutdown, which continues the period that in our case started early.

"With Seb and Charles, we speak almost daily. They are both at home and they are training as always. They are undoubtedly fit."

The Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August 23 due to the coronavirus crisis.

May 24 was due to be the date for the most prestigious motor race in the United States, but it has been put back three months.

Fernando Alonso will be among the drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the two-time Formula One world champion makes another attempt to complete the triple crown - winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and Indy 500.

Track owner Roger Penske said: "The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favourite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500.

"However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.

"We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I’m confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world's greatest race."

There will be practice sessions at the track on August 12 and 13, with Fast Friday to come the following day. Indy 500 qualification will be staged on August 15-16.

The start of the 2020 MotoGP season has again been delayed after the Spanish Grand Prix became the latest race to be postponed.

Jerez was due to host the opening race of the rearranged schedule on May 3, but those plans have had to be shelved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on the MotoGP website confirmed the event will be rescheduled for later in the year, with a revised calendar to be released "as soon as available".

"As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, a new date for the Spanish GP cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the event," the statement read.

"A revised calendar will be published as soon as available."

Qatar was only able to stage Moto2 and Moto3 events, while races in Argentina, Thailand and the United States have all been postponed because of the virus.

The Argentinian Grand Prix was previously moved to November 22, meaning the Valencia Grand Prix was pushed back to the following week to ensure it remains the final event.

McLaren have confirmed all team personnel who were in self-isolation in Australia have returned home.

The Formula One team withdrew ahead of what was scheduled to be the season-opening race in Melbourne after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The Australian Grand Prix was eventually cancelled and the F1 campaign is still yet to begin due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

McLaren, who are based in Surrey, England, revealed on Twitter that all those who had isolated - as well as the management who remained with them - were all now back home.

"We are pleased to confirm that as of yesterday [Wednesday] evening, all team personnel who were in self-isolation in Melbourne, as well as management who had stayed with them, have now safely returned home," the team said.

"Thanks once again on behalf of the team for all the support and well wishes."

F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey has said the plan is to stage between 15 and 18 races in a 2020 calendar that could extend into December.

Azerbaijan became the latest race to be postponed on Monday. The next on the original schedule is the Canadian Grand Prix, which is due to take place on June 14.

 

The 2020 Formula One season could include between 15 and 18 races in a revised calendar that will likely run into December, according to Chase Carey.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, F1 has been forced to delay the start to the new campaign, Azerbaijan becoming the latest Grand Prix to be postponed on Monday.

The season-opener in Australia, due to take place on March 15, and the Monaco event have both been cancelled, with the next race on the original schedule due to take place in Canada on June 14. 

In a statement, F1 chairman and CEO Carey did not reveal an update over a potential start date but made clear the 10 teams and the FIA remain "committed" to delivering a championship, aided by the usual mid-season break being shifted forward to March and April.

As well as Azerbaijan, postponed races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain could get new dates, though much depends on developments with the ongoing global pandemic.

"We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races, Carey said.

"As previously announced, we will utilise the summer break being brought forward to March/April, to race during the normal summer break period and anticipate the season end date will extend beyond our original end date of 27-29 November, with the actual sequence and schedule dates for races differing significantly from our original 2020 calendar.

"It is not possible to provide a more specific calendar now due to the fluidity of the current situation but we expect to gain clearer insights to the situation in each of our host countries, as well as the issues related to travel to these countries, in the coming month."

In the absence of the usual racing calendar, F1 launched the Virtual Grand Prix Series on Sunday.

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne represented Williams but finished last among the drivers to complete the Bahrain leg - won by Renault test driver Guanyu Zhou - of the Esports tournament.

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has been postponed in a further delay to the start of the 2020 Formula One season.

It had been anticipated the June 7 event in Baku would be pushed back as the F1 calendar continues to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Races in Australia and Monaco have been cancelled altogether, while the Bahrain, Vietnamese, Chinese, Dutch and Spanish grands prix have also been postponed.

With the announcement on Monday from organisers that the Azerbaijan GP would not go ahead as scheduled, the first race of the campaign is now set to be in Montreal, Canada, on June 14.

A Baku City Circuit (BCC) statement read: "The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with F1, as well as the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the government of the Azerbaijan Republic.

"This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.

"In coming to this conclusion, BCC's primary concern throughout has been the health and well-being of the Azerbaijani people, as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.

"BCC shares its fans' disappointment at not being able to experience the pinnacle of motorsport racing through the streets of Baku this June.

"To that end, we will continue to work closely with F1, the FIA and the government of the Azerbaijan Republic to monitor the situation with a view to announcing a new race date later in the 2020 season."

The season-opening Australian race was called off after McLaren had pulled out of the grand prix when a member of their crew tested positive for coronavirus.

World champion Lewis Hamilton has since self-isolated after he was at an event where he came into contact with actor Idris Elba and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, both of whom have contracted the virus.

Hamilton said he has not developed any symptoms, though he was not tested due to the shortage of tests.

In the absence of the usual racing calendar, F1 launched the Virtual Grand Prix Series on Sunday.

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne represented Williams but finished comfortably last among the drivers to complete the Bahrain leg - won by Renault test driver Guanyu Zhou - of the Esports tournament.

Haas team principal Gunther Steiner is confident his outfit's owner remains committed to Formula One.

Gene Haas suggested ahead of the Australian Grand Prix that a poor start to the season would not be favourable as he assesses whether to stay in the sport beyond the 2020 season.

It came after a disappointing year last season saw Haas finish ninth in the constructors’ championship with just 28 points, having been as high as fifth in 2018.

But Steiner believes the comments may have been overblown, having spoken to Haas on raceweek in Melbourne, an event which was ultimately postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I spoke with him, he phoned me up seeing if everything was okay [in Australia]," Steiner told reporters.

"I think he's committed. He wants to see how we are doing, what is going on with the team. I had 50 minutes with him on the phone. I think he's still committed."

Steiner insists his team's mentality will not change, adding: "I approach every race as a make or break.

"Every race, you do your best, you cannot do more than the maximum. That's what we always do, wherever we go.

"I wasn't there when he said that, so I don't know what's make and break. I think it was taken a little bit out of context."

One Direction's Liam Payne finished comfortably last among the drivers to complete a Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix won by Guanyu Zhou.

Payne represented Williams in the first event of Formula One's Virtual Grand Prix Series, an Esports tournament filling the void in the absence of the usual race calendar amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the race's biggest name endured a painful F1 debut.

Payne posted a single plodding qualifying time and was soon facing the wrong way in the race after a series of early crashes had initially allowed him to climb the standings.

The former X-Factor star was steadily caught and came in 17th, only ahead of gamer Aamir Thacker and Formula 2's Robert Shwartzman, who each crashed out.

Payne was a lap behind cyclist Chris Hoy, in 16th, while Ian Poulter came in 15th as the celebrities struggled.

Technical difficulties dogged the event, with Lando Norris unable to compete in qualifying and then seeing much of his race simulated after a lengthy delay that appeared to amuse and frustrate his rivals in equal measure.

The issues meant there were just 14 chaotic laps, but Renault test driver Zhou – Poulter's one-off team-mate – ultimately dominated.

Meanwhile, ex-F1 ace Nico Hulkenberg could only recover to finish in the midfield after a tricky start put paid to his hopes of a belated first podium of his career.

Hulkenberg had acknowledged pre-race he had little chance of success, though, describing rivals as "a lot of geeks on there that are really, really good" as he waited on Norris.

The series is set to continue until the F1 season is able to start, although Payne will do well to get a second invite before racing resumes.

One Direction star Liam Payne is in the line-up for the first race in Formula One's Virtual Grand Prix Series on Sunday.

The F1 calendar has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, with the season - which should have started last week in Australia - not set to get under way until June at the earliest.

In its stead, the competition has launched an exhibition Esports tournament to be played out on Codemasters' F1 2019.

The first event is the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix and, alongside a number of F1 drivers, Payne will race for Williams.

The 26-year-old, who shot to fame on The X-Factor, will join F1 debutant Nicholas Latifi, last season's Formula 2 runner-up.

Payne is not the only celebrity entrant, with six-time Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy turning out for Red Bull.

Max Verstappen this week declined the opportunity to race for Red Bull as he did not feel he could be competitive.

"I never play that game," he told Ziggo TV. "It will take days to understand the game just a little bit better. And I don't want to get into it right now.

"Also [it is] because I'm very busy with the other racing games, so switching between all those games just doesn't work for me.

"And on top of that, I always race to win. I'm not going to drive around somewhere at the back. Then I'd rather not participate at all."

F1 assured "game settings will be configured in such a way to encourage competitive and entertaining racing", acknowledging a "wide variety of gaming skill levels". 

Golfer Ian Poulter will represent Renault, meanwhile, with each participant entering remotely from 2000 GMT.

Valentino Rossi is "cheering on" fellow Italians who have seen their communities turned into a "war zone" by the coronavirus and has not made a decision on his MotoGP future.

Italy has been the hardest hit of any nation as COVID-19 spreads across the globe, 4,825 losing their lives in the country.

With the season on hold due to the virus, the seven-time MotoGP champion has offered his support to those so badly affected.

"Here in Tavullia the situation is difficult, unfortunately many people are sick here and also in Pesaro. We must all hold on, waiting for this moment to pass," the Yamaha rider told Sky Sport Italia.

"We cheer for the people of Bergamo and Brescia. I have seen very bad images, it looks like a war zone.

"I have many friends there and right now I’m the one cheering them on, while usually I’m the one they cheer for.”

Rossi will not rush into making a call on whether to continue racing next year after the start of the season was delayed.

He added: "It was hard [The cancellation of the season-opening race in Qatar], because we understood that we would not have run just on Sunday before leaving [for Qatar].

"This has messed up my plans, we will have to understand when we will be able to run. Things seem to go long, they have cancelled the European Championship in football.

"As for my choice, I was hoping to decide whether to continue after the first part of the season, but now everything slips. I would like a few races to understand how competitive I can be, that would be important."

Mick Schumacher turned 21 on Sunday and the Ferrari Driver Academy have offered him their congratulations.

In January 2019, he joined the team with whom his father dominated the sport in the early 2000s.

Michael Schumacher won the drivers' title every year from 2000 to 2004 and is regarded as one of Formula One's greatest drivers.

But son Mick has been forging his own path in motorsport over recent years and won the Formula 3 European Championship in 2018.

Since signing, he has had the full support of Ferrari in achieving the ultimate goal of reaching F1 and will have the backing of the fans who idolised his father in years gone by.

He won his first F2 race in 2019 and took part in several F1 tests.

As he turns 21, we take a look at the drivers who made it from the Ferrari Driver Academy to the F1 grid and how they fared.

 

Jules Bianchi

Bianchi was the first recruit to the programme in 2009, signing up to a long-term deal with the Italian giants after impressing during a young drivers test in Jerez. The Frenchman was made Ferrari test driver in 2010, replacing a trio of veterans in the position with Giancarlo Fisichella, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene having previously fulfilled that function.

After driving in practice sessions for Force India in 2012, Bianchi landed his first F1 seat in 2013, driving for Marussia, and steered the struggling team to a top-10 finish at the 2014 Monaco Grand Prix. Bianchi was tragically killed at the Japanese Grand Prix later that year when his car collided with a recovery vehicle.

 

Sergio Perez

Perez was part of the academy at the same time as Bianchi and is now one of the most experienced drivers on the F1 grid. The Mexican was given a drive with Sauber only a year into his time with Ferrari and was released from the programme in 2012 after being snapped up by McLaren for the 2013 campaign.

He is entering his seventh consecutive season with Racing Point, formerly known as the Force India team, and boasts eight podium finishes from his 176 race starts. Of the 2019 grid, only Nico Hulkenberg had started more races without picking up a victory.

Lance Stroll

Perez's team-mate at Racing Point is another academy graduate in the form of Lance Stroll. Stroll was only 11 years old when he joined the programme in 2010 - the same year as Perez - and Williams spotted his potential when they took him on board as a test driver for 2016.

The Canadian won the Formula 3 European Championship that year and was promoted to a race seat with Williams for the following campaign. Stroll's father, Lawrence, is part of the consortium that bought Force India and, as widely expected, he made it a family affair with the team in 2019 and will return this year.

 

Antonio Giovinazzi

Giovinazzi is the first member of this list who is still a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and in 2019 he got his first real taste of F1.

The Italian did contest the first two races of 2017 for Sauber in the absence of the injured Pascal Wehrlein, but the seat was his for last season and he could not have asked for better mentor to drive alongside, with Kimi Raikkonen - drivers' champion with Ferrari in 2007 - having returned to the team for 2019.

Giovinazzi struggled to 17th with Alfa Romeo in 2019, but will have been buoyed by a fifth-place finish in Brazil that he will hope gives him momentum this year as he returns with Raikkonen.

 

Charles Leclerc

Leclerc is now the example all young drivers in Ferrari's academy can aspire to, and proof that the system works.

The Monegasque driver tested for Haas and Sauber in his first two years on the programme and, after an impressive 10 top-10 finishes for the latter in his first full season on the grid, he was chosen by Ferrari to succeed Raikkonen as team-mate to four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

That put Leclerc in a competitive car for 2019 despite only having a year of senior F1 experience under his belt and he delivered emphatically.

Leclerc finished above Vettel in the drivers' championship as he won two races and racked up seven pole positions, more than anyone else on the grid.

He was rewarded with a new five-year contract that puts Vettel's future on an uncertain footing heading into the 2020 campaign.

Lewis Hamilton self-isolated after being at an event with two people who have tested positive for coronavirus, though the six-time Formula One champion assured fans he was "doing well" and had "zero symptoms".

There were fears the Briton could have contracted COVID-19 after he was pictured at an event in London earlier this month with actor Idris Elba and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, both of whom have since tested positive for coronavirus.

Hamilton explained that he has been in isolation as a precaution since last Friday, shortly before the Australian Grand Prix – the opening race of the new F1 season – was postponed.

However, the 35-year-old Mercedes driver said he has not been tested due to the limited number of tests available and stressed he was not showing any signs of the virus.

"There's been some speculation about my health after I was at an event where two people later tested positive for coronavirus," Hamilton wrote in a message uploaded to his social media accounts.

"I wanted to let you know that I'm doing well, feeling healthy and working out twice a day. I have zero symptoms and it's now been 17 days since I saw Sophie and Idris. I have been in touch with Idris and happy to hear he is okay.

"I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but the truth is there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do, especially when I wasn't showing any symptoms at all.

"So what I've done is keep myself isolated this past week, actually since practice was cancelled last Friday and kept my distance from people."

Hamilton had initially expressed shock that the F1 season had been due to start on time in Melbourne last weekend despite many other events being cancelled owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian Grand Prix was eventually called off after one of McLaren's crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

Subsequent races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain have been postponed while the Monaco Grand Prix has been scrapped entirely for 2020.

The earliest the F1 season can now begin is on June 7 in Baku.

New Formula One technical regulations will not be introduced until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA has announced.

The rule change was set for 2021, but the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak has meant for a change.

The 2020 calendar has seen its first seven races either postponed or cancelled, with the start of the season set back until June 7 in Baku at the earliest.

In the wake of these delays, all 10 teams have joined F1 and FIA officials in unanimously agreeing not to roll out new technical regulations next year as planned, although new financial rules will be introduced.

The decision was made with the intention of helping teams impacted financially by the reduced schedule in the coming months.

"All parties further discussed the current situation of the 2020 championship and how the sport will react to the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," a statement from the FIA read on Thursday.

"Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course.

"The introduction and implementation of the financial regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula One and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings.

"All teams expressed their support for the FIA and Formula One in their ongoing efforts to restructure the 2020 calendar as the global situation regarding COVID-19 develops.

"All of these commitments will be referred to the relevant governing structures for final ratification."

The Monaco Grand Prix will not take place in 2020 as the Formula One calendar continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

F1's season opener in Australia was cancelled, while races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China had already been postponed due to the spread of COVID-19.

The FIA then announced on Thursday that the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco grands prix would all be put back but it was later confirmed the latter race, scheduled for May 24, will not take place.

It had initially been hoped that the season would be able to start in the Netherlands on May 3, but that will no longer be possible, with a mandatory shutdown having been brought forward to March and April to free up room in August for postponed events.

A statement from Automobile Club de Monaco confirmed the decision was based on the unknown impact of the pandemic on the F1 championship, plus the uncertainty over which teams will be able to participate and the pressure on businesses and workforces involved with the event.

It is the first time since 1954 that the iconic F1 race, famous for its street-circuit design, will not take place in the principality. 

F1's managing director Ross Brawn said on Saturday he was optimistic of a "17-or-18-race championship". The earliest the F1 season can now start is on June 7 in Baku.

The 2020 Formula One season will not begin until June after the FIA announced the postponement of the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco grands prix due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia was due to host the first race of the year last weekend, but the event was cancelled in the wake of McLaren pulling out after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

Races in Bahrain and Vietnam were subsequently called off, with the Chinese Grand Prix having already been put on hold.

That meant the Dutch Grand Prix was due to kick the season off on May 3, but the FIA confirmed a further delay to the schedule on Thursday.

An FIA statement read: "In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with Formula 1 and the three promoters, it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2020 and Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2020 will be postponed.

"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula 1 and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.

"The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each grand prix later in the year should the situation improve.

"The FIA and Formula 1 expect to begin the 2020 championship season as soon as it is safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation."

F1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said on Saturday he was optimistic of having a "17-or-18-race championship" by using the mid-season break scheduled for August.

It was announced on Wednesday that mandatory shutdown period had been brought forward to March and April to free up August for postponed races.

However, the F1 calendar is now facing further congestion with three more events hoping for a new date in the schedule.

As things stand, only 15 of the initially planned 22 races have a set date.

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