Formula 1 announced today that it has canceled the U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which was scheduled for October 25, due to COVID-19 health concerns. In addition, there will not be any races held in Mexico, Canada, or Brazil in 2020.
In a statement, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) chairman and owner Bobby Epstein said, “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. 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.”
The sentiment was echoed by Chase Carey, chairman and CEO of Formula 1. “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.”
To fill out the schedule, F1 is adding three races in Europe. The new races will be the Grand Prix of the Eifel, held at the Nürburgring (October 9–11); the Portuguese Grand Prix, to be held at Portimão in Portugal (October 23–25); and the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna, to be held at Imola, Italy (October 31–November 1). The addition of these three new races brings the total to 13; plans are in the works for three more races in the Middle East in December, two in Bahrain, and the season finale in Abu Dhabi. A race in Vietnam is also being considered. The goal is to hold a total of at least 16 races for the 2020 season.
“Though it is disappointing and difficult for us to face this conclusion, it is a decision we must accept,” said Montreal Grand Prix promoter Francois Dumontier. “The health and safety of our employees, volunteers, partners, and of our faithful fans are and always will be our top priority.”
The World Championship is supposed to be held on at least three continents. However, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has acknowledged the global impact of COVID-19 and has reportedly waived that requirement.
Updated schedule of remaining F1 races (as of July 24):
- August 2: Silverstone, Great Britain
- August 9: Silverstone, Great Britain
- August 16: Barcelona, Spain
- August 30: Spa, Belgium
- September 6: Monza, Italy
- September 13: Mugello, Italy
- September 27: Sochi, Russia
- October 11: Nürburg, Germany
- October 25: Portimão, Portugal
- November 1: Imola, Italy