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Binotto eyes two-day Formula 1 race meetings

Simon Chapman

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Sunday 29th March, 2020 - 10:00am

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Mattia Binotto

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says Formula 1 could hold two-day grands prix in an effort to complete this year’s World Championship.

The first eight races of the 2020 season have either been postponed or cancelled amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Formula 1 has effectively gone into shut down with its mandated summer break brought forward.

As it stands, the Canadian Grand Prix on June 12-14 is the next event scheduled on the calendar.

However, as coronavirus cases continue to rise globally there are doubts whether it will go ahead.

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey has earmarked plans for a reduced calendar of 15 to 18 races. Ironically, this year’s calendar was to be the biggest in history with 22 races scheduled.

Binotto said Ferrari and the other teams are working in conjunction with Formula 1 to find a solution that can see them run in 2020, which could see the inclusion of two-day events.

“We are engaged in constant dialogue,” Binotto told Sky Italia.

“I have felt, along with the other team principals, that these are crucial moments.

“With regards to the timetable, we have given Carey and the FIA the freedom to define the calendar as they need to under these conditions.

“We can also have two-day weekends, with free practice moved to Saturday morning, so that we can meet the logistical needs in case of grands prix being close together.

“In addition, the current shutdown leaves room for the possibility of being able to compete in August if there are conditions to be able to do so.”

Earlier this month Formula 1 managing director Ross Brawn earmarked two-day events as being an option for triple-header weekends.

However, as the championship start continues to get pushed back – the Azerbaijan Grand Prix the latest to be affected – there are suggestions that this season could run in 2021.

When asked about running the championship into the new year, Binotto wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility.

“These are all places where we, as a team, need to ensure maximum availability,” he added.

“If this allows us to guarantee a more complete 2020 world championship, with the following season not starting until March, there is great availability for that.”

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