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Vietnam joins F1 calendar in record 22-race 2020 season

Friday, August 30, 2019, 08:42 GMT+7
Vietnam joins F1 calendar in record 22-race 2020 season
Sebastian Vettel regrets loss of Hockenheim from 2020 calendar. Photo: AFP

Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) -- Formula One announced a record 22-race season next year with Vietnam joining the championship and the Dutch Grand Prix making its return to delight Max Verstappen and his fans at the iconic Zandvoort circuit.

But Red Bull's gifted young Dutch driver won't have the chance to repeat last month's success at Hockenheim with the German Grand Prix dropped from F1's draft calendar released on Thursday.

Germany's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel described the loss of his home race as "a great pity".

"Perhaps next year or the years that follow we'll realise that F1 should be in Germany," the Ferrari driver told AFP at Spa-Francorchamps ahead of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

"F1 can't allow itself to lose races where motor racing has a long history like in Great Britain, Italy or Germany."

The 2020 season retains its traditional opener in Melbourne on March 15, with the chequered flag falling again in Abu Dhabi on November 29.

Vietnam becomes the 34th country to stage an F1 grand prix with the Hanoi race on April 5, with the Dutch race, back after a 35-year absence, scheduled for May 3.

The calendar still has to be approved by the sport's ruling body, the FIA.

AFP

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