F1 prepares for packed end-of-year schedule after summer shutdown move


The Formula 1 summer shutdown has been moved forward and increased to a three-week break

Mercedes F1 team garages

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Formula 1 teams could be faced with triple and even quadruple-headers later in the year, as the FIA announced that the annual summer shutdown will now take place in March and April.

It means teams can expect a hectic schedule once racing does get underway, with empty weekends in August now available to slot races into.

The move comes after the postponement of racing until May at the earliest, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, the change has been approved and will mean teams will have to observe a three-week mandatory shutdown between March and the end of April.

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The length of the break has also been increased from two to three weeks in light of the current situation.

By moving the summer break, Formula 1 could theoretically stage three extra races in the month of August, though a triple or even quadruple-header is likely should those plans materialise.

Talks are reportedly underway to have the beginning of the season take place in May, with the Monaco Grand Prix staging the first race.

Four races – in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China – have already been postponed. The Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix, scheduled for early May also look doubtful.

F1 is aiming to get the 2020 season underway in late May, though that date could be pushed into June and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix could be the curtain-raiser instead.