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Mugello, Sochi added to F1's 2020 calendar, more to follow

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Spielberg (Austria) (AFP)

Formula One on Friday added two more confirmed races to its coronavirus-hit season at Mugello in Italy and Sochi in Russia.

The Mugello race, to mark Ferrari's 1000th Grand Prix and to be known as the Grand Prix of Tuscany, is at the Italian team's test track and will be held on September 13, immediately after the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.

The Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, the host city for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, has been confirmed for its original date of September 27.

The Sochi race will be the first this year when the F1 circus flies in without using transporters and travelling by road.

The two races expand the calendar from eight to 10 races with more expected.

"We are delighted to announce Mugello and Sochi will be part of the 2020 calendar and want to thank all our partners for their support in recent weeks," said F1 chief Chase Carey.

"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 F1 race for the first time at Mugello, an occasion that will mark Ferrari's 1000th 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."

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto added: "I want to thank the promoter for all their hard work to make this happen. I know all our fans will be excited to see us go racing at this amazing circuit and Ferrari tifosi will be treated to a celebration of the team's 1000th race."

He continued: "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.

"This commitment has taken it to levels of excellence both for Italy and the world. There are lots of people to whom we send thanks for turning this opportunity into reality - above all Formula 1's Chairman and CEO Chase Carey, who knows and appreciates the value that our team represents for this sport."

Further Grands Prix at Portimao, Shanghai and Hanoi are expected to take place in October, but remain unconfirmed.

Final decisions are also expected soon on the races at Austin, Sao Paulo and Mexico City, which are all doubtful due to the continuing escalation of COVID-19 in Latin America.

Two more European races at Imola, in Italy, and Hockenheim, in Germany, are reported to be on stand-by.

"We expect the revised 2020 season to have between 15 and 18 races," F1's governing body the FIA stated.

F1 was hit hard by coronavirus, with the season postponed just hours before opening practice of the traditional curtain-raiser in Melbourne in March.

The season finally got underway last Sunday with the Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg which also stages the second race, the Styrian Grand Prix, this weekend.

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