Formula One has released its calendar for 2020, with the first ever Vietnam Grand Prix set to be the third race of the year.
Vietnam is one of two new additions to the schedule for next season and will take place on April 5, shortly after a double-header of Australia and Bahrain. The Hanoi race will be followed by China before the second new addition, the returning Dutch Grand Prix, on May 3 to kick off the European leg of the season.
This week, the Spanish Grand Prix confirmed a new one-year extension -- it will take place a week after the race at Zandvoort, which hosted F1 races annually on all but one occasion between 1958 and 1985. The Dutch circuit has been brought back to capitalise on the growing popularity of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Thursday's announcement news confirms that the German Grand Prix has dropped off the calendar, with title sponsor Mercedes unwilling to continue financially supporting the event.
The only provisional date is the Italian Grand Prix on Sept. 6, with a star next to the Monza race pending contract approval. Negotiations are believed to be at an advanced stage and a contract extension is expected ahead of this year's Italian Grand Prix, which takes place next week. If that goes ahead as planned, it means Monza will continue its remarkable run as being a feature of every F1 season bar one since the world championship started in 1950.
There has been plenty of race contract news in the past few months. Ahead of the British Grand Prix Silverstone confirmed a new five-year deal to keep it on the schedule until at least 2022, while the Mexican Grand Prix has added three years to its popular event at Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The Australian Grand Prix, which has become the traditional opener to any F1 season, also confirmed an extension of two years earlier this year to extend its race hosting contract to 2025.
Here is 2020's calendar in full:
March 15: Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne)
March 22: Bahrain Grand Prix (Sakhir)
April 5: Vietnam Grand Prix (Hanoi)
April 19: Chinese Grand Prix (Shanghai)
May 3: Dutch Grand Prix (Zandvoort)
May 10: Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona)
May 24: Monaco Grand Prix (Monte Carlo)
June 7: Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Baku)
June 14: Canadian Grand Prix (Montreal)
June 28: French Grand Prix (Le Castellet)
July 5: Austrian Grand Prix (Spielberg)
July 19: British Grand Prix (Silverstone)
August 2: Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest)
August 30: Belgian Grand Prix (Spa)
September 6: Italian Grand Prix (Monza) *subject to contract signature
September 20: Singapore Grand Prix (Singapore)
September 27: Russian Grand Prix (Sochi)
October 11: Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka)
October 25: U.S. Grand Prix (Austin)
November 1: Mexican Grand Prix (Mexico City)
November 15: Brazilian Grand Prix (Sao Paulo)
November 29: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Abu Dhabi)
F1 CEO Chase Carey said: "It's with great pleasure that today we publish the draft 2020 calendar. It's the year in which the series that is the pinnacle of motorsport celebrates its seventieth anniversary with, for the first time, a 22 race calendar.
"It is significant for our sport and confirms our long-term strategy. Since we became involved in this sport in 2017, we have talked about developing new destination cities to broaden the appeal of Formula One and at the same time, consolidating our presence in Europe, the traditional home of the sport.
"Therefore, we have Vietnam making its debut in the capital, Hanoi, one of the most exciting cities in the world right now with such a rich history and an incredible future ahead of it. And we also have the return of the historic Zandvoort circuit, on the outskirts of another vibrant city, Amsterdam, for the Dutch Grand Prix.
"In addition, we have extended our agreement with Silverstone, home to the British Grand Prix, which in 1950 hosted the first of the 1009 events held to date, and we are in negotiations with the Monza circuit, which has hosted more Grands Prix (68) than any other track. We are also pleased that, this year, we have renewed the agreements with Mexico City and two countries, Australia and Azerbaijan, which have gone for long-term extensions well ahead of the end of their current contracts with us.
"The season with a record 22 Grands Prix has received unanimous support from the FIA and all the teams and clearly demonstrates the confidence that exists in the future of our sport, which with over 500 million fans remains one of the most followed and popular in the world."