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F1 confirms return of Turkish GP on final 17-race calendar

Formula One has confirmed the Turkish Grand Prix will return to the agenda this year as F1 announced the final four races of its 2020 calendar on Tuesday.

The popular Istanbul Park circuit, which was last used in 2011, will host a race on Nov. 15 before two races in Bahrain on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6 and the season finale in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 13.

The four races will be the final additions to this year’s agenda, bringing the total number of events to 17.

F1 also confirmed the previously postponed Chinese Grand Prix will not take place this year, with confirmation of the cancellation of the Vietnamese Grand Prix expected in due course. “We are proud to announce that Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will be part of our 2020 season,” F1 CEO Chase Carey said.

“This year has presented Formula One and the world with an unprecedented challenge and we want to pay tribute to everyone across Formula One, the FIA, the teams, and our partners who have made this possible.

“While we are all disappointed that we have not been able to return to some of our planned races this year we are confident our season has started well and will continue to deliver plenty of excitement with traditional, as well as new, races that will entertain all our fans.”

F1 also announced that a number of the remaining races will take place with fans in attendance.

The Russian Grand Prix at the end of September has been selling tickets for several weeks and is expected to be the first race that will be open to fans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Portuguese Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve is targeting as many as 30,000 fans per day at its venue near Portimao in late October.

F1’s statement added: “While we want to see as many fans as possible return as soon as it is safe to do so, our priority remains the safety of the Formula One community and the communities we visit, and we review fan access on this basis.”

The sport has already completed six races this season behind closed doors in Austria, Hungary, Great Britain and Spain. The season will continue this weekend with round seven at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Istanbul Park hosted the Turkish Grand Prix between 2005 and 2011 and is a purpose-built circuit to the east of Istanbul. It provided good racing during its time on the F1 calendar and became famous for its high-speed, quadruple-apex Turn 8.

Bahrain and Abu Dhabi have been earmarked as the final rounds of the 2020 calendar for some months. The season will conclude with three race weekends in a row for the first time in F1 history.

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