• Chris Kato

5 Tracks We'd Love to See Added to the 2020 F1 Calendar

10 races have been confirmed so far for 2020 with a few more to be added in the coming weeks

Courtesy - f1fanatic.com.uk

Ten races have been confirmed so far for the 2020 Formula 1 season with more to be added in a couple of weeks. The unique problems of the global situation in 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges and measures for the world's largest motorsport series. We've seen double headers at the same racetracks and historic grand prix's like Monaco be cancelled all together. Rumors have been swirling for the past couple of months as to which tracks F1 will be racing at for the remainder of the 2020 season. Even at the time of writing this article, new rumors have emerged that the Nurburgring in Germany is slated to be an addition to the race calendar. So far we've seen new circuits added to the calendar in the form of the Mugello circuit in Italy, which will take place on September 13th. It seems like Mugello won't be the only new track to be added to the 2020 calendar with reports of Imola possibly making an appearance as well. Due to the ongoing challenges of hosting races worldwide, the F1 bosses have adjusted and clearly aren't afraid to go to circuits that were originally not on the 2020 calendar. With that in mind, we've compiled five circuits we'd love to see added to the 2020 F1 calendar.

1. Sepang International Circuit

The Malaysian Grand Prix was dropped from the F1 calendar after 2017 and it has regularly been in the conversation of tracks that could return to the series. Fans have many fond memories of the Sepang International Circuit and we don't have to look back far to admire them. How about the monsoon half race of 2009 that had to be stopped at 31 laps because of treacherous conditions. It was this classic race that gave us the infamous Kimi Rakkonen 'ice cream' moment. And how could we forget Sepang as the location for Sebastian Vettel's first win with Ferrari. Arguably Vettel's greatest win with the Scuderia, it was the emotion from Vettel following the race win which made it even more special. Of course another Ferrari driver in Fernando Alonso had a spectacular victory in 2012 coming from ninth on the grid to win the race and take the lead in the championship. Their are many more great F1 moments in Malaysia but the racetrack is one that many drivers did enjoy. Known for it's sweeping corners and wide straights, Sepang would be a great addition to the 2020 calendar. Thanks to it's wide straights and DRS zones, their are plenty of opportunities for overtaking and the high speed corners of Sepang in modern Formula 1 cars would be quite the site to see in qualifying. Another element of a Malaysian Grand Prix that makes it exciting is the conditions. Malaysia can throw up some crazy weather conditions in the blink of an eye and the humid air of Sepang always makes it a challenge for the drivers. So what are the chances of Sepang joining the 2020 F1 calendar? It doesn't look very likely but organizers are interested in bringing Formula 1 back to Malaysia. The Prime Minister of Malaysia wants F1 back in the country and the recent appointment of new track CEO Azhan Shafriman Hanif could see that process get underway. One of the main advantages the Sepang Circuit has in potentially holding an F1 race in 2020 is obviously their previous experience in Formula 1. The circuit is noted for its world class facilities and the infrastructure to stage an F1 race is already in place. The FIA still deems the circuit as a Grade 1 racetrack which is one less hurdle in the way of a potential return.

2. Autódromo Internacional do Algarve

Many new fans to Formula 1 might not be familiar with F1's rich racing history in Portugal. The first Formula 1 race hosted in Portugal was way back in 1958 in Boavista. The race then moved to Monsanto in 1959 and after that Portugal would not see another F1 race until 1984 when it made its return to the Autodromo do Estoril. Once again however, Portugal would lose it's only F1 race after 1996 and the racing series has only returned for testing since then. But renewed hopes of a Formula 1 return to Portugal is now in the cards due to the ever changing global situation. The Algarve Circuit is reportedly set to be confirmed in the coming weeks as an addition to the 2020 calendar. The talks have been ongoing for weeks and the good news for the Algarve Circuit is that it was given a Grade 1 FIA license earlier this year. It seems like it's all systems go for a Portuguese Grand Prix and that is exciting to say the least. Along with Mugello, the Algarve Circuit (also known as the Portimão Circuit) would be hosting its first ever Formula 1 race. A completely new track to the calendar provides us with a lot of unknowns and potential drama for its first race there. The Portimão Circuit is a clockwise 4.7KM track with 16 turns and a technical mix of slow and fast speed corners. One of the things that makes this track unique is the massive gradient changes throughout the 16 turns. Large and bumpy sausage kerbs on the apex of the corners could make it a unique challenge for F1 drivers looking to maximize their lap times. This circuit is brand new to many F1 fans as the sport has never officially raced there before so it's difficult to know how a modern Formula 1 car will react to the circuit. With that said, their is a brilliant video from a professional driver coach which breaks down every in of this circuit in great detail.

As a side note, if you aren't familiar with the Driver61 channel on YouTube please do yourself a favor and check it out. Scott Mansell does some brilliant technical analysis on driving styles of the likes of Verstappen, Senna, and Schumacher so it's well worth the watch. The Circuit Portimão Algarve looks like it would be a great addition to Formula 1 and with it being a brand new track to the sport, it's all the more reason to get excited about it.

3. Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Now this following track that we would love to see added to the 2020 calendar is admittedly a biased opinion. For those who aren't aware, we are based in Ottawa, Canada and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal is a mere two hour drive from our home base. This track is a personal favorite but it's not just the BackMarkers F1 Show that thinks so. First hosting a race in 1978, the high speed circuit on a man made island has been loved by many F1 drivers past and present. The unique challenges of the repeated chicanes, hard braking zones, and close proximity to walls, has given us some classic Canadian Grand Prix's. We all remember the the brilliance of the 2011 race and of course the 1999 race in which the 'Wall of Champions' was born. If you're not too familiar with the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, take a look at our very own track guide we made before the 2018 Canadian Grand Prix.

Besides the beauty of the circuit and the racing experience, here's another reason we'd love to see it added to the 2020 calendar. If we were to stage a Canadian Grand Prix, it would most likely find a slot during October or early November. The challenge with that of course is the Canadian weather. During the fall, we could have anything from warm temperatures, to 15cm of snow and ice. It's completely unpredictable but wouldn't that make it fun for Formula 1? When we spoke to F1 journalist Chris Medland back in May, he made some great points about how teams could easily adapt to cooler conditions in the way that they adjust for the heat. Here is a video is which he explains his reasoning.

If F1 can aim to squeeze in a Canadian Grand Prix for sometime in October, we could be in for another classic race with unpredictable results. The North American market is very important for Formula 1 and it would be a shame if we don't see a race around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2020.

4. Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari

The Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, better known as Imola, is a historic racetrack steeped in both positive and negative memories for F1 fans. We've seen amazing battles around Imola like in 2005 when Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso went head to head for half a grand prix. Of course we've also seen the worst moments at this circuit back in 1994 when it claimed the lives of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna. Imola has not hosted an F1 race since 2006 but now it looks like it's ready to make a return to the sport. The circuit took a big step recently when it received Grade 1 status from the FIA making it ready for Formula 1. More reason to get excited for a potential race at Imola is the fact that FIA Race Director Michael Masi is inspecting the track this week in Italy. This could mean three F1 races in Italy for 2020 at three of the most historic tracks in all of the world. Imola is an old school anti-clockwise circuit that is sure to test the physical and mental fitness of these 20 grand prix drivers. The straights aren't too long so outright power is not necessarily an advantage while the chicanes and bumpy track surfaces demand a good handling car. Earlier this season, Alpha Tauri ran their cars around Imola for a filming day which further adds speculation that Imola will be added to the 2020 calendar. Daniil Kvyat had high praise for the circuit after his outing in his Aplha Tauri. "I knew it already from my past experiences. I always felt it was a very exciting track to drive, it's quite old school, it's quite bumpy, the kerbs are challenging." It would be great to have the fastest cars in the history of Formula 1 attack the historic corners of the Imola circuit. Fast and with no margin for error, we'd get to see which drivers can master their cars on the absolute limit. Here's some footage of Kvyat and Gasly earlier this year at the Imola Circuit.

5. Hockenheimring

F1's on again off again relationship with Hockenheim is a frustrating one. Financial troubles has seen it exit the calendar repeatedly and that was again the case for the original 2020 schedule. It's a real shame as the Hockenheimring provided us with some real classics in the last few years. The race in 2018 was a pivotal moment in the championship for Hamilton and Vettel while the 2019 race somehow was even better with the tricky wet conditions. While nothing has been specified yet on Hockenheim's potential return, they are ready to host an F1 race as not much has to be done to prepare the circuit. It's much easier for tracks like Hockenheim considering they hosted races just last year. It's important for Germany to have a Formula 1 race and it would be great to see it on the calendar for 2020. German F1 drivers have quite the long and successful history in this sport and not having a grand prix in Germany just doesn't feel right. It looks as if Hockenheim is a 'backup race' for countries that could impose stricter lock downs that would result in cancellation of a scheduled grand prix. Germany's close proximity to the UK and it's location is Europe would make it easier logistically for the teams so that is always a good advantage to have. As previously mentioned above, the Nurburgring has also been added into the conversation of races for 2020. Both tracks would be a welcome addition to the schedule as Germany deserves a spot on the Formula 1 calendar.

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