Formula 1 'close to finalising' 22-race calendar for 2021

F1 boss Chase Carey says the sport's 2021 calendar is in the process of being finalized, with 22... The post Formula 1 'close to finalising' 22-race calendar for 2021 appeared first on F1i.com.

Formula 1 'close to finalising' 22-race calendar for 2021

F1 boss Chase Carey says the sport's 2021 calendar is in the process of being finalized, with 22 races expected to comprise Grand Prix racing's future schedule.

Carey said F1 was holding back on announcing its 2021 agenda as Liberty is still trying to build out this year's program.

"We haven't announced 2021 just because the focus is on 2020, but we're pretty close to finalising 2021," Carey said during F1's second quarter conference call with Wall Street analysts.

"We've got a couple agreements to complete, where we have the business terms agreed, and we've got to paper it. There's been no impact on that.

"Those are obviously discussions that would have begun well before the virus, and it's certainly not had any negative impact. And I think in some ways, it is the importance of getting back to the world as we know it and re-energising.

"The conversation and interest, we've not seen any negative, given our calendar for 2021."

Next year's schedule is theoretically unlikely to include any new races unless circumstances dictate a change. But uncertainty questions remain over the future of the Brazilian Grand Prix as Interlagos' current deal expires at the end of this year.

"We are planning a 2021 season that looks pretty much like what we would have expected it to look like at the beginning of this year," he added.

"And then, obviously, we qualify that with we don't have any better visibility than anybody else as to what this virus is going to look like as we go forward.

"I do think one has to realise that we're about five months into the virus, and our season in March would be still seven months away.

"So there's a long time, and conversations on vaccines and treatments and testing and the like will obviously continue to evolve.

"We also obviously race in 22 countries, so we deal with a much bigger mixed bag of issues throughout this, but we are planning on 2021 that looks like what we would expect, which probably will be a 22-race calendar.

"We may make it so there's a little more space in the front end of it, so the calendar in the second half is a little busier, and we've got a little more flexibility built into it.

"But I think that's probably a tweak to it, not a real restructuring. Clearly as this goes along, we'll know more. And there's always the possibility that we make some adjustments as we go forward."

Assuming the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control by next year, Carey is expecting F1 to welcome fans back to race weekends on a regular basis in 2021.

But F1's chief executive suggested that spectators could return as early as September at Mugello.

"At this point we're planning races that will have fans," he said. "We've been in touch with most of our events. Again, nobody has visibility to this. We’ll obviously have a lot of sports ahead of us.

"What will the NBA, the NHL do if they get the next season going? What will the soccer leagues in Europe do as their seasons get going?

"So I think we do have the benefit of a lot of things that will be in front of us as templates around the world."

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Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey expects the sport to be pretty close to "back on the curve"... The post Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021 appeared first on F1i.com.

Carey expecting F1 to be 'pretty close' to normal in 2021

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey expects the sport to be pretty close to "back on the curve" in 2021 and to resume its growth after a year severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

F1 announced its second quarter 2020 numbers on Monday, a period which saw revenue crash from $620m to just $24m due to no races taking place during the global lockdown.

As the world hopefully gradually fends off the coronavirus in the coming months and life returns to a semblance of normalcy. Carey is expecting F1 to also come back in line economically.

"We have been clear, we were expecting 2020 to be another significant step forward, and 2021, to continue to be a further step forward," Carey said on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Monday.

"So we were very much on a trajectory to moving, and it wasn't going to be in 12 months, but moving to delivering the type of growth that got us to a place.

"I think we felt at the beginning of this year, we were on a good track, and we've got a pretty predictable business model.

"So ex the virus, we were very much moving to deliver the type of long-term growth that we had talked about. Obviously, the virus turned it all on its head."

Obviously, only a global return of everyday life to a status quo will allow F1 to resume its trajectory.

"At this point, we're planning on a 2021 that is probably not quite, but pretty close to the 2021 we would have planned," added Carey.

"Now, planning anything in the virus era has obviously got complexities, because we don't know what are going to be the issues in terms of limitations on fan attendance.

"One thing we do believe is that the world has to start to function in the ways we know the world. We do believe 2021 can be pretty close to back on the curve, or on the slope, we had planned for the business.

"But none of us have the visibility we'd like to the virus. I guess, excluding unexpected continuing encumbrances from the pandemic, we expect in 2021 and 2022 to be largely back on the curve we would have been on from sitting at the beginning of this year, with '19 being a year of growth, and '20 being a further year of growth."

Numbers will continue to sink in the upcoming two quarters relative to last year as F1 is unlikely to rake in any race fees from promoters, having waved the rights on a case-by-case basis to get the show back on the road.

However, should fans in some countries be allowed back in the grandstands in the latter part of the season, limited fees from some promoters could flow in.

"The agreements we have this year, this is such a unique year, they're all over the place," admitted F1's CEO.

"The first race we think that has potential for a very small number of fans is probably now Mugello, but increasing on races in the latter part of the schedule. Certainly we hope to have fans at as many as possible.

"In some places, the governments want to get a little closer to the date to determine what the situation is. Our deals, our agreements, vary all over, and in some degree depends on are these long-term partners, or one-off partners?

"So there are a lot of moving parts. Some of them do have variables, but it differs in each place, which is always the case with our with our agreements."

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