Mugello has emerged as a potential venue to host a grand prix during the 2020 Formula 1 season in the event of flyaway races being cancelled.

After the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged plans for the 2020 F1 season and forced the opening 10 races to be called off, F1 unveiled its revised schedule for the European leg of the calendar last week.

The campaign will get underway with a double-header event at Austria’s Red Bull Ring on July 5, which kicks off eight behind closed doors races across Europe in the space of 10 weeks.

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is the final date on the new schedule to have been confirmed, with the race taking place on September 6.

F1 bosses are working to finalise the remainder of the world championship season and remain optimistic of completing a calendar consisting of between 15-18 rounds.

Following the European leg of the season, F1 planned to travel to Asia and the Americas before concluding the season with back-to-back races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in mid-December.

While the coronavirus situation appears to be improving across Europe, with the vast majority of countries easing their lockdown measures, new hotspots are emerging in other parts of the world.

Brazil and Mexico have become some of the worst-affected areas, casting doubts over whether races could take place in the respective countries as scheduled in November.

Speaking to the BBC, F1’s managing director Ross Brawn admitted the sport faces a conundrum in trying to build a calendar outside of Europe due to countries being in “different stages of their situation with the virus”.

"There is still quite a lot of volatility in the situation in different countries, so until that stabilises and we can see where the situation is, it's difficult to commit,” Brawn added.

"Brazil is in the middle of a very difficult period. Mexico is in the middle of a very difficult period. But we're optimistic that those situations will improve and therefore we will be able to build a programme around that.”

There are also question marks lingering over planned rounds in Russia, Japan, the United States and Vietnam.

Races in Australia, the Netherlands, France and Monaco have already been shelved and F1 is bracing itself for more cancelations, though CEO Chase Carey has stressed it has “other options” if more races have to be called off.

An alternative plan for F1 is to hold further events in Europe.

Championship officials have been holding talks with circuits not on the original 2020 calendar in recent months, including the Hockenheimring.

The Automobile Club d’Italia has been keen to host a second race in Italy following the Italian Grand Prix in September and put forward either Monza, Imola or Mugello as potential venues.

The Ferrari-owned Mugello Circuit has since emerged as the most viable option and a provisional mid-September date has been earmarked.

Such a scenario would allow F1 to remain in Italy for a week to stage back-to-back races, adding a third triple header event to the opening leg of the season.

F1 was due to race in Singapore two weeks after the Italian Grand Prix but the street circuit is excepted to be among the rounds to be cancelled.

Mugello, which has been the home of MotoGP’s Italian Grand Prix since 1994, has never staged an F1 grand prix but did hold in-season testing back in 2012.

 

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