China offered Formula 1 double-header for 2020

Frankie Mao

With F1's calendar only so far sorted for the first eight European races, attention has now shifted to finalising the shape of the calendar later in the year.

The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has made things complicated, and there is now a contingency to have one or two more races in Europe before looking at options elsewhere.

The Chinese GP, which was the first race to be called off earlier this year, had always hoped to get a slot later in the campaign – and talks are now going on with F1 owners Liberty Media about what will happen.

Shanghai Sports Bureau Director Xu Bin said on Monday that the city was keen to host a grand prix this year rather than wait until 2021, and it was pondering if it wanted to go ahead with the offer of a double-header.

Speaking to Shanghai People's Radio he said: "International sport organisations care a lot about these world-class sport events in China and Shanghai.

"Despite a lot of changes of our events due to the pandemic, we have received support from international sport organisations and national associations for some of our events.

"We would be allowed to hold the events in Shanghai at a suitable time in the second half of the year, depending on the situation of the pandemic."

Asked about the possibility of back-to-back races, Mr Xu said: "No decision has been made yet. It's proposed by FOM.

"F1 has announced they will resume the opening eight European races, without any round in Asia. The event originally scheduled...has been postponed to the second half of the year.

"During the discussion, FOM asked whether we could host two races in Shanghai. It's not been decided. It will depend on the situation of pandemic."