F1 considering new venues and alternative layouts on full 2020 calendar

Formula One is still considering holding races at venues not on the original 2020 calendar and is also toying with the idea of using an alternative layout in Bahrain should a second race be held at the circuit.

The first eight races of the revised calendar were announced earlier this month, with the season due to get underway behind closed doors on July 5 in Austria. F1 is planning to announce the rest of its 2020 schedule before the first race takes place, with the aim of continuing the series outside of Europe to reach a total of between 15 and 18 races.

Some races that were on the original calendar have already been cancelled -- including Australia, Monaco, the Netherlands and France -- with more expected to follow. But F1 has announced it has lined up a number of new European venues it can use as backups, including Mugello and Imola in Italy, Portimao in Portugal and Hockenheim in Germany.

"There are a number of good European tracks where we could add another one or two races on to make sure we have a comprehensive season," F1's motorsport director Ross Brawn said in an interview on the official F1 website. "We're not going to declare it yet, as it's still a work in progress.

"What we really want to avoid is announcing and changing it. We also need to announce it in enough time so people can make plans. We hope some races in the second half of the season will have spectators, so we need time for ticket sales and promotion to take place."

Bahrain and Abu Dhabi will close out the season at the end of year and Bahrain has already been earmarked as a candidate for two races to boost the total number of events. Both the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone are due to hold two races at the same circuit in the coming months, with the tyre compounds being changed at the second Silverstone race to try to keep things interesting.

However, Bahrain has a number of track layouts that comply with the FIA's Grade One safety standard -- one of which was used for the 2010 edition of the race, known as the 'endurance' layout. However, Brawn hinted at another possibility that might offer more exciting racing.

"One of the nice attractions of Bahrain is it has many configurations, so we could go to Bahrain and race on two different tracks there," he said. "There's a nice sort of almost oval track that would be quite exciting, and all the layouts have a Grade One licence with the FIA, so that is an option in the pocket.

"Using two configurations involves quite a lot of work for the riggers -- for example the timing needs setting up for two tracks so you need plenty of notice. That's something we have to take into account."