Coronavirus calendar: F1 returns to Nurburgring, bins off Americas

Published: 24 July 2020

► Disruption to car events across the globe
► F1 is back!
► American events less affected

People might be staring at blank pages in their social diaries for now, but at least Formula 1 is back.

Motorsport's largest circus (F1) kicked back into life on the 3rd July with the Austrian Grand Prix. But it's not all rosy - there have been at least seven cancellations, with the Azerbaijan, Singapore, and Japan races being the latest to be kiboshed.

Formula E has taken the brave step to conclude its championship with six races in nine days at Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

Meanwhile, away from the glitz, glamour, and gluttony of the Formulas, grassroots motorsport is looking up in the UK. The BTCC is scheduled to host its first race on 1 August.

UK car sales drop 97% in coronavirus pandemic

Can’t be bothered reading the whole article? Click the links below to see how different race series and events are dealing with the coronavirus:

Car events cancelled by coronavirus

Goodwood Festival of Speed: the customary garden motor show has been pulled from July 2020 calendar

Events across Europe and America are being cancelled at an alarming rate, as organisers react to lockdowns and public health warnings. Here we round up the car meets and events that hundreds of thousands of you were looking forward to:

Geneva Motor Show 5-15 March, cancelled. Read the full story on the cancellation of everyone's favourite motor show here

Donington Historic Festival 24 March, postponed (new date unknown)

Techno Classica Essen 25-29 March, postponed to 7-11 April 2021

Goodwood Members’ Meeting 28-29 March, postponed to 10-11 April 2021 (provisionally)

Coventry MotoFest 6-7 June, postponed to 4-6 June 2021

Detroit Motor Show 16-26 June, cancelled. Full details about NAIAS cancellation here

Bicester Super Scramble 23 June, cancelled

Yorkshire Motorsport Festival 26-28 June, postponed to 25-27 June 2021

Goodwood Festival of Speed (above) 9-12 July, cancelled

Goodwood Revival 11-13 September, cancelled

Paris motor show 1-11 October, cancelled. Full story here

Le Mans Classic 2-5 July, postponed to 1-4 July 2021

Formula 1

The F1 calendar is being badly affected by the spread of coronavirus

F1 looks set to turn its back on North and South America due to Coronavirus fears. The situation in the Americas is generally worse than in Europe - which explains why there will be no grand prix in Brazil, Mexico, U.S.A, or Canada this season.

There is some good news - the Nurburgring will star after a lengthy spell away from F1. While Portimao in Portugal, and Imola in Italy, have been given the green light too. Imola will actually play host to a two-day event, though the final format has yet to be confirmed. 

'We are pleased that we continue to make strong progress in finalising our plans for the 2020 season and are excited to welcome Nurburgring, Portimao and Imola to the revised calendar,' said Chase Carey, Chairman and CEO of Formula 1.

We want to thank the promoters, the teams, and the FIA for their full support in our efforts to bring our fans exciting racing this season during an unprecedented time.'

Other axed races for this year include the following GPs; Azerbaijan, Singapore, Japan, Dutch and Canada GPs.

A host of Asian venues are reportedly in talks too - chief of which are Malaysia and Vietnam.

Provisional 2020 F1 calendar

Austrian GP 3-5 July and 10-12 July

Hungarian GP 17-19 July

Great Britain GP 31 July-2 August and 7-9 August

Spanish GP 14-16 August

Belgian GP 28-30 August

Italian GP Monza 4-6 September Mugello 11-13 September

Russian GP 25-27 September

German GP (Nurburgring) October 9-11

Portugese GP - October 23-25

Italian GPs (Imola) - October 31 – November 1

Bahrain GP - TBC


British Touring Car Championship (BTCC)

BTCC race calendar has been suspended until at least July 2020

The British Touring Car Championship will be suspended until at least August 2020. It looks as though Donington Park will be the first round of the season, which will drastically reshape the schedule. BTCC boss Alan Gow said the series is unlikely to run on a closed-door schedule:

BTCC provisional calendar

Donington Park 1-2 August

Brands Hatch 8-9 August

Oulton Park 22-23 August

Knockhill 29-30 August

Thruxton 19-20 September

Silverstone 26-27 September

Croft 10-11 October

Snetterton 24-25 October

Brands Hatch 14-15 November

Formula E

Formula E calendar

Good news, Formula E will resume racing in August. Oddly, there will be six races in nine days, with this flurry of activity deciding the winner of the 2019/20 Championship. 

Even odder is the venue - the Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

Antonio Felix Da Costa (DS Techeetah) is leading Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing) and Alexander Sims (BMW i Andretti Motorsport) respectively in the Championship.

On returning to racings, Sims said: 'I'm looking forward to going back to Berlin, being with the team again and getting back on track. I've enjoyed the simulator events while we've not been able to race, but for me it's all about the real thing. Obviously, six races in nine days is unprecedented for anybody in the sport, so that's going to be exciting and I'm sure will throw up some challenges that we've not encountered before.'

Berlin ePrix 5 August, 6 August, 8 August, 9 August, 12 August, 13 August

World Endurance Championship (WEC)

LMP1 racing and the WEC championship is disrupted throughout 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic

The big news here is that the Le Mans 24 Hours has moved from June to September 2020. And the 6 hours of Spa has been postponed, too. The revised calendar for the series is being worked on at the moment and we aim to update this story once we know more. But this does mean that next year’s season, which sees the introduction of the new hypercar category, will be delayed, organisers pledge:

6 Hours of Spa 25 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Le Mans 24 Hours 13-14 June, postponed to 19-20 September

World Rally Championship (WRC)

WRC calendar has been affected by spread of Covid-19

Rally GB has become the fifth and latest casualty of Coronavirus. At present, it looks like only five more rallies will go ahead this year, but organisers are looking to add some European events to bolster the crumbling calendar.

So far, Sebastian Ogier (Toyota) leads Elfyn Evans (Toyota) and Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) respectively:

Rally Argentina 23-26 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Rally Portugal 21-24 May, cancelled

Rally Italy Sardinia 4-7 June, postponed (new date unknown)

Safari Rally Kenya 16-19 July, cancelled

Rally Finland 6-9 August, cancelled

Rally New Zealand 3-6 September, cancelled

Rally Turkey  24-27 September, unaffected

ADAC Rallye Deutschland 15-18 October, unaffected

Wales Rally GB 29 October-1 November, cancelled

Rally Japan 19-22 November, unaffected


IndyCar championship 2020

Initially penned to start racing with no spectators, the virus has reached a point where IndyCar officials have taken the decision to postpone the start of the season until the first round of Indianapolis. The circuit says it is prepared and it’s ‘planning for all contingencies':

Barber Motorsports Park 5 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Long Beach 19 April, postponed or cancelled

Circuit of the Americas Postponed (new date unknown)

Indianapolis Road Course 9 May, unaffected

Indianapolis 500 24 May, unaffected

Detroit 30-31 May, unaffected

Nascar (cup series)

Nascar championship 2020: is it being affected by coronavirus?

A lot of Nascar races, aren’t there? The season opener has been pushed back by nearly a month, with four events already postponed. However, organisers have assured fans that all 36 races will indeed be completed this season:

Bristol Motor Speedway 5 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Richmond Raceway 19 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Talladega Superspeedway 26 April, postponed (new date unknown)

Dover International Speedway 3 May, postponed (new date unknown)

Martinsville Speedway 10 May, unaffected

Charlotte Motor Speedway 17 May, unaffected

Charlotte Motor Speedway 24 May, unaffected

Kansas 400 31 May, unaffected

Michigan International Speedway 7 June, unaffected

Sonoma Raceway 14 June, unaffected

Chicagoland Speedway 21 June, unaffected

Pocono Raceway 27 June, unaffected

Pocono Raceway 28 June, unaffected

Indianapolis Motor Speedway 5 July, unaffected

Kentucky Speedway 12 July, unaffected

New Hampshire Motor Speedway 19 July, unaffected

Michigan International Speedway 9 August, unaffected

The Glen 16 August, unaffected

Dover International Speedway 23 August, unaffected

Daytona International Speedway 30 August, unaffected

Darlington Raceway 6 September, unaffected

Richmond Raceway 13 September, unaffected

Bristol Motor Speedway 20 September, unaffected

Las Vegas Motor Speedway 28 September, unaffected

Talladega Superspeedway 4 October, unaffected

Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 11 October, unaffected

Kansas Speedway 18 October, unaffected

Texas Motor Speedway 25 October, unaffected

Martinsville Speedway 1 November, unaffected

Phoenix Raceway 8 November, unaffected

Further reading: coronavirus and the car world

More on the car industry and the effect of coronavirus

How to request a payment holiday if you've bought a car on finance

Covid-19 brings a six-month suspension of MoT tests

Why car makers are scrambling to build medical ventilators

By Murray Scullion

Bauer Automotive’s finance editor; keeps an eye on finance trends and manufacturer deals. Loves old fast cars