European F1 dates announced! How to watch F1 2020

So. Finally an announcement! Formula 1 has announced the revised 2020 calendar – well half of it at least. The 8 European dates have now been confirmed, including (as expected) double headers in Austria and the UK. They’ll all be behind closed doors, so how can you watch them? Read on…

Updated 2nd June 2020

World Champion Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone earlier this year

So what’s been announced?

So far, F1 has just announced the European races, these are shown in the table below. It’s worth noting that these are all behind closed doors, so just the racing teams and support (marshals, emergency services, FIA personnel etc.) will be permitted.
As many expected (and had been leaked, a lot!) there are double headers for both Austria and the UK as part of the early races. This makes good sense – Austria is a private track so the teams can be contained easily, and the UK is home to many of the F1 teams so international travel will be limited.
Those confirmed races are;

RaceVenueDate
AustriaThe Red Bull Ring, AustriaJuly 5
AustriaThe Red Bull Ring, AustriaJuly 12
HungaryThe Hungaroring, HungaryJuly 19
UKSilverstone, UKAugust 2
UKSilverstone, UKAugust 9
SpainCircuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, SpainAugust 16
BelgiumSpa-Francorchamps, BelgiumAugust 30
ItalyMonza, ItalySeptember 6
The confirmed 2020 F1 races – so far

How many races will there actually be in 2020?

Well, that’s an interesting question. F1’s boss, Chase Carey, has said publicly that they want to run 15-18 races, which suggests at least another 7 races to come. Handily enough there are still 7 races on the original F1 calendar outside of Europe, though it’s unlikely they’ll all go ahead as planned in their original slots.

SingaporeMarina Bay20 Sep
RussiaSochi27 Sep
JapanSuzuka11 Oct
USAAmericas25 Oct
MexicoMexico City1 Nov
BrazilInterlagos15 Nov
Abu DhabiYas Marina29 Nov
The original remaining 2020 races – expect these to change!

What’ll be really interesting is how F1 balances the financial demands of it’s business with the need to run a sensible calendar. Races like Singapore, Russia and Abu Dhabi pay handsomely for their races so it’s hard to see them being dropped altogether.

Will there be more than 1 F1 race per weekend?

One idea that’s been doing the rounds to try to make up for the number of races is to run ‘double-headers’ at some of the race weekends. This has been an idea anyway for the last couple of years, to try to make more fans attend the race weekend and improve the amount of action for the TV cameras.

This seems feasible, but it relies a lot on the support of the teams and the tyre manufacturer, Pirelli. More races means more parts, more repairs, more engine changes and of course more tyres. It might have been possible at a few of the European races like Spa and Monza, but not the remaining fly-aways. The fact they’ve not done it for the European races speaks volumes.

The only exception to that might be Abu Dhabi – the season finale. The teams tend to have a testing week following the final race, and the pit complexes, climate and open nature of the circuit might also support a second race – even if it’s later in the week, say Wednesday night (European time). That would make for a blockbuster end to the season under the lights!

Abu Dhabi is spectacular and would support an end of season double header, or even a mid-week race

What about watching it on TV? What are my options?

These days, you’ve got plenty of ways to watch, without a satellite dish if you don’t want one. We’ve got a great article here with information and advice for watching the F1 season in the UK.

How can I find a great deal?

It’s what SwitchTV.co.uk was designed for. Just you enter ‘Formula 1’ in our channel and programme finder here, we’ll find you the best deals available in your area;

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts below

Locked down due to Coronavirus and don’t know what to watch? Here’s 24 hours with Switch TV…

Well, we’re all in the same place right now. We can’t go out except to get shopping or a brief bit of exercise. So how do you spend 24 hours in front of the TV? Here’s our handy guide…

The newest member of the streaming family is Disney+

7.00am
No rush to get out of the house, and let’s face it, the news is depressing. So kick things off in style with one of the great Star Wars movies available on the newly launched Disney+. You can choose from all of them, from the classics right through to the ones launched in the last few years. My pick is Rogue One – where a team of galactic misfits fight against the Empire and set about stealing the plans for the Death Star, which links really well to the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope.

10.00am
After a long film it’s important to keep the tempo up with some high octane action. So how about a couple of episodes of the brilliant F1: Drive to Survive on Netflix. You can choose to follow stories from the 2018 or 2019 seasons. Watch out though, there’s some tasty language in some of the behind the scenes footage, especially a certain team boss…

12.00pm
It’s getting to lunchtime, so let’s relax a bit as you think about a bite to eat with The Great British Bake Off, all series of the original shows are available now on Netflix. It’ll be sure to get your taste buds going. Just don’t have cake for lunch!

1.00pm
Time for some series boxset action with Sky TV or an Entertainment Pass from Now TV. There are a huge range to choose from, our pick right now is the brilliant Billions starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti. It’s intelligent, face-paced, witty and involves money and a bit of sex. Most of the things you’d want to make the most of the afternoon.

Billions is available on Sky Atlantic and stars Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis

5.00pm
It’s still light now until around 7pm, so how about something cultural to see the evening in? Sky Arts has a number of great shows to feed your inner-self, including Portrait of the Year and Darbar: Music of India.

7.00pm
Ok, time to step it up, and let’s go big with this one. There’s no sport on TV, so let’s go for one of the big Hollywood films from Netflix to make it a great night. Right now, you can choose from a great selection such as Rush, Inglourious Basterds, Training Day and the Hobbit Trilogy. Tonight we’re going to go for the excellent Jurassic World – dinosaurs in a theme park, what could possibly go wrong?

10.00pm
You might be thinking about winding into bed, but why? We’ve still got hours of great TV to go, all at your fingertips. Continuing with the disaster theme, let’s start with a couple of episodes of the excellent Chernobyl, available on Sky Atlantic and the Now TV Entertainment Pass.

12.00pm
Now we’re talking, let’s get some popcorn in the microwave and join Marvelous Mrs Maisel from Amazon Prime. Great outfits and great comedy as the 1950’s housewife transforms her life.

Miriam “Midge” Maisel discovers her hidden talent – on Amazon Prime Video

2.00am
Let’s go back to one of our new entrants, Disney+. They’ve got great shows as well as tons of movies and some great documentaries like Titanic: 20 Years Later to explore and enjoy.

4.00am
At this sort of the time most people are flagging, so only some classic comedy will keep you going. If classics are what you want, you need Britbox, which is a joint venture from the BBC and ITV, and contains their best shows from the past 30-40 years. There’s so much to choose from, with Only Fools & Horses, Downton Abbey, Gavin & Stacey and Absolutely Fabulous to name but a few. My choice is the brilliant Blackadder. Everyone has a favourite season, so pick yours and you can watch all 6 episodes, back to back, ready for your cornflakes as the sun comes up.

Let’s do it all again…
There’s so much to choose from, with packages available from £5.99 a month. Just put your favourite channels or shows into our package finder here.

Still not sure what to watch?
We let you search by type of shows, and we’ll recommend shows you might like to form your perfect TV package. Give it a try here