Formula 1 and Bahrain International Circuit are in talks of the track potentially hosting a double-header if Portimao is unavailable.
The current calendar sees Bahrain hosting the season opener after pre-season testing, before heading to Imola on April 18th and a TBC venue on May 2nd.
Portimao was widely expected to take the slot of the third round, but the country now grapples with a deadly new wave of the coronavirus, sending those plans into doubt.
The current rumour suggests Bahrain will hold a back-to-back set of races to begin the season, with the Imola round then being moved back a weekend to April 25th.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali commented on the situation to the media.
“There is a TBC date there, and if it will be Portugal, it will be written as Portugal. The reason why it’s not written Portugal is because the situation is still not closed yet.
As soon as we can, we will be able to announce something — and that will be in the next days, not in the next two months.
I’ve got personal meetings during this weekend to understand what is the state of the situation, and one of the possible plan Bs, for sure, could be a double race in Bahrain. But this is one plan and nothing is confirmed. We’re focusing to try to keep the calendar as it is.”Stefano Domenicali – Formula 1 CEO
F1 is still confident it can hold a 23-race season, though the odds are not looking in favour of that.
Pre-season testing begins in less than a month at Bahrain International Circuit.