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F1 heads to Mugello for first-ever Tuscan Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the Scuderia Ferrari SF1000 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Photo by Clive Mason - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The Formula 1 motor-racing series has today (Friday) added two new races to its 2020 calendar, with a first-ever grand prix at Italy’s Mugello circuit scheduled for September.

The Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, a regular fixture on the F1 circuit, has also been added to the series’ Covid-19-affected calendar. The maiden Tuscan Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit will take place from September 11-13, with the Russian Grand Prix pencilled in for September 25-27.

The Mugello circuit is owned by Ferrari and is a regular fixture on the calendar of the MotoGP motorcycling series. The Tuscan Grand Prix will mark Ferrari’s 1000th F1 race.

Mugello will become the fourth Italian circuit to host an F1 race after Monza, Imola and Pescara, which was used once in 1957. The circuit has been used as a test track many times.

The two additions bring the F1 calendar up to 10 races for the 2020 season. F1 returned last weekend in Austria in what marked the first grand prix of an initial eight-race European swing.

The series continues this weekend with a second event in Austria, before heading to Hungary on July 17-19. Two races will then be held on consecutive weekends at Silverstone from July 31 to August 2 and August 7-9, with further events scheduled in Spain from August 14-16 and Belgium from August 28-30.

F1 had previously confirmed that the Italian Grand Prix will take place at Monza on September 4-6 and today’s announcement will see Italy host two events on consecutive weekends, albeit at different circuits. F1 is hopeful of staging between 15 and 18 races before the end of the year.

Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of F1, said: “We had a great start to our season in Austria last weekend and we are increasingly confident in our plans to race throughout the remainder of 2020.

“The Russian Grand Prix is a major moment in our season and we are looking forward to being back in Sochi in September. We are equally excited to see Formula 1 race for the first time at Mugello, an occasion that will mark Ferrari’s 1000 grand prix. Both races will be a huge boost for fans with more announcements on the next races in our calendar coming in the weeks ahead.”

Mattia Binotto, team principal and managing director at the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, added: “To be able to celebrate an extraordinary anniversary like the thousandth grand prix for Scuderia Ferrari at our own home at Mugello is an incredible opportunity. Mugello is not just one of the most spectacular and challenging tracks for drivers and cars, it is also a structure that has made sustainability one of its priorities.”

The BBC reported that Portugal’s Portimao track is being considered for another new event, which would take place after the Russian Grand Prix. Further talks had been taking place with race organisers in Vietnam and China but the latter’s government has announced today that no international sporting events will take place in the country, with the exception of test events for Beijing’s 2022 winter Olympics.