The 2020 French Grand Prix looks almost certain to be postponed as France lengthens lockdown

It’s looking likely that the 2020 French Grand Prix will be the 10th F1 event to be cancelled or at the very least postponed, as measures set to contain the spread of the coronavirus continue.

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron updated the nation on the government’s plans to tackle the pandemic, explaining that restrictions on events with large crowds in France will continue until at least mid-July.

Currently, Paul Ricard, near Marseille in Southern France, is scheduled to host the round on June 28. Last year, 135,000 fans attended the event, so this certainly falls into the category of shows which need restrictions.

Formula One has raised some hopes that some of this season’s Grands Prix could be held behind closed doors, without any spectators.

However, this would almost definitely still require the presence of a large number of people, ranging from team staff to event marshals, making them difficult to safely run and organise when large gatherings aren’t allowed.

Nearly half of 2020’s 22 planned races have been disrupted by the current pandemic. Monaco has been fully cancelled, while the rest are postponed, with Formula One looking at potentially cramming as many events into the second half of the year as they can.

Managing director of Formula One, Ross Brawn, said last week that the season is likely to begin in Europe as early as July, but that some races might need to be held without spectators.

The Austrian Grand Prix, which is currently scheduled for July 5, follows the French race on the Formula One calendar, but it’s possible that this event will be moved as part of the massive shakeup which the sport is going to have to do if it wants to run all of the events.

Brawn has even suggested that races could be held on three of every four weekends and that the season could extend into January if necessary.

With the summer shutdown covering 35 days in April and May, this frees up weekends in August which might be able to be used for rescheduled races later down the line.

In these unprecedented times, it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen with the remainder of the 2020 season, but we can be sure that they are trying their hardest to get it done, one way or another.

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