F1 announces inaugural Moon Grand Prix will begin 2020 season

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Formula 1 has finally confirmed the first race of the 2020 season, the inaugural Moon Grand Prix on May the 4th.

As the current coronavirus pandemic continues to grow here on Earth, the first eight races of the year have either been cancelled or postponed, including Monaco which won't feature on the F1 calendar for the first time in 66 years.

That has forced owners Liberty Media to get creative to try and salvage this year's championship, and the new event, set in the Moretus crater near the South Pole, will provide a spectacular setting to get the action started.

A deal is believed to have been struck with Elon Musk to provide transportation to the lunar surface through his SpaceX company while a local design company from the nearby Gruemberger crater has promised a circuit that is "out of this world".

To add some excitement to the race, a 'Mercedes only' chicane will be incorporated to keep Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas within a lightyear of the rest, while a unique 360-degree corner should keep Sebastian Vettel in contention after Lap 1.

Also, given their ability to turn up just about anywhere, a special grandstand will be created for Max Verstappen fans with a special bandwagon being provided for them jump on as a precaution against Covid-19.

There is a question mark over the Dutchman's participation though as the title sponsor for the race, former Haas partner Rich Energy, is believed to be trying to block Red Bull's participation.

Still, in a statement, F1 CEO Chase Carey is confident the event will be a success.

"We are thrilled to announce the launch of the first-ever 2020 FORMULA 1 RICH ENERGY MOON GRAND PRIX next month," he commented.

"Clearly the start to this year has been difficult but this was an opportunity we simply couldn't refuse as the race sponsor has promised $5 billion for us take the greatest show in the galaxy to this incredible destination at Moretus.

"Since taking over the sport in 2017, we have promised fans that we will preserve Formula 1's history while also broadening to new horizons and terrestrial bodies, and I believe this to be one small step for this sport and one giant leap into a new frontier!"

At this point there's only one thing left to say... Happy April Fools Day!