Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that Formula 1 is taking into consideration the possibility of extending the 2020 season into 2021 to ensure a full campaign of races goes ahead.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruption to the start of the 2020 season and resulted in the postponement or cancellation of the opening eight races, meaning the campaign is now scheduled to begin no sooner than the Canadian Grand Prix on June 14.
F1 CEO Chase Carey has spoken of his intent to hold a 15-18 round season beginning at “some point” in the summer months, while teams have already agreed to bring forward the summer break to the spring to free up the traditional August shutdown to potentially hold rescheduled races.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Mattia Binotto admitted tge teams and F1 officials are discussing a number of alternatives to make sure racing does occur, including holding two-day races and pushing some races back into early 2021.
“We speak with the other team principals and with the FIA, these are decisive moments. The theme of the calendar is crucial, for sport, for the show, but also for the teams, for the organisers. We have decided to give total freedom to the FIA to set up a timetable to get back to running as soon as possible, our availability is there.” – Mattia Binotto explained.
“We evaluate several hypotheses: disputing the close Grand Prix, you can also think of doing two-three races in January, we also consider the possibility of canceling the free practice. As for the regulation, we need to understand if it will be frozen.” – he added.
Mattia Binotto also insisted that Ferrari would not have raced at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix “in any case”. The Melbourne round was abandoned when McLaren withdrew from the weekend after a member of its team crew contracted COVID-19 in the paddock.
“The night before the Australian GP was characterised by many discussions, our decision was not to participate: Ferrari would not have raced in any case. Health is paramount. When the news of not running in Melbourne became official, we made arrangements to return home as soon as possible.” – the Ferrari boss concluded.