Formula One set for record-breaking 22 races in 2020
August 29 2019 06:28 PM
Formula One

Dpa/Belgium

Formula One is set for a record-breaking 22 races next year after the provisional calendar for the 2020 season was released on Thursday.

The 70th season of the world championship will begin in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15 and will conclude November 29 at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.

Vietnam has been added to the schedule and will become the 34th country to host an F1 grand prix on April 5 in Hanoi.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finally has a home race to look forward to with the return of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on May 3 after an absence of 35 years.

But four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and the mighty Mercedes team will have no home race as Germany, as expected, has dropped off the rota.

Mercedes stepped in as title sponsor for the Hockenheim race this season but no agreement could be found for next year.

F1 had never gone above the current high of 21 races and the schedule requires seven back-to-back race weekends although there is no repeat of the 2018 France-Austria-Britain triple header.

The grands prix in Mexico and Spain both survived, despite initial speculation to the contrary, and F1 said an extension to the contract with the Italian Grand Prix was ‘being finalised’ before it celebrates its 90th anniversary next weekend.

The absence of a German GP on the calendar, after Hockenheim circuit operators said an F1 race was no longer financially viable, was greeted with regret by Vettel.

‘That Germany is missing from the calendar is a shame.’ Vettel said in Spa-Francorchamps ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix programme.

‘I think Formula One needs Germany.’  Vettel added he hoped Germany would soon be back. The four-time F1 champion was second behind Verstappen in a thrilling race at Hockenheim last month.



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